Reflections leading to better choices

I must admit; my first impression of contemplative practices was not the best. Possibly because I had never done anything like it during my time at the UW, but also because I had no idea what to expect. Yet after participating in a couple of them throughout the quarter, I began to realize the value behind them. Here in America, it is very easy to get caught in a routine that never allows one to reflect on exactly how the food we eat makes it to the supermarket. We can spend more time at the supermarket looking through a pile of limes to choose the “best” one, rather than taking a short moment to reflect on the process and origin of each piece of produce.

The cacao contemplative practice specifically changed my way of viewing food and the consumption of chocolate we partake in every day. Chocolate can be found in nearly every major store in America. Yet the harsh reality is that the while we have the pleasure of enjoying this delicious treat, many of the farmers who grow the cacao necessary to make it have never tasted the final product- chocolate. We were able to see this through the Dutch TV video, First taste of chocolate: Ivory Coast cocoa farmers where it showed farmers tasting chocolate for the first time. What I find most disturbing is that farmers are being left behind, while other countries take advantage of their foods. The farmers don’t reap the same benefits as the global market. Contemplative practices, such as the one we did in class, is one step in helping the consumer reflect and realize where their foods origin and process is from. I look forward to engaging in these types of practices in the future, to better understand the origin of the food I purchase.

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