Imagine a raisin. Dry, wrinkled, brown, devoid of life and vigor. What was once a plump, robust grape is now a shriveled, mass-produced food product; a representation of the industrialized agricultural system of the modern world. As I held this microcosm of the industrialized food system on my tongue and closed my eyes, I began to think about how this raisin came to be. By shutting off the outside world, I was finally able to comprehend and fully analyze the extent of the food production chain of the tiny dried berry in my mouth. I believe that in this day and age, especially as young adults coming into the world, we should pay more attention to where our food comes from. We are often distracted by media and stimuli that promote short attention spans. By employing contemplative practices such as holding the raisin in my mouth, we can force ourselves to slow down and truly think about how and what we eat, which by extension, dictates how we live our lives.
As a Whole Foods employee, I have found that contemplative thinking practices have shaped the way I view certain foods. I have developed a new found appreciation for organically and locally grown produce that has been brought to market without the immense environmental impact that comes with conventional industrialized agriculture. I have also placed a higher importance on locally harvested fish and meat, since industrialized meat production contributes to a massive portion of all greenhouse gas emissions that come from the industrialized food system. Thus, from employing contemplative thinking practices, we can make better informed decisions regarding the food we consume with the goal of becoming more environmentally friendly consumers.