Availability and Edibility

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Of all the contemplative practices we’ve done, the one that has stuck out to me the most is the one based on hunger. I’ve really only ever been dangerously hungry a few times, and usually it was out of negligence rather than a lack of food availability. That, in and of itself, speaks to the privilege I have of being able to access food readily whenever I would like—and it’s only getting easier. With delivery services like DoorDash, Eat24 Yelp, and GrubHub, I don’t even have to leave my home, and I can order more or less whenever (and whatever) I want. This all-hours access is really only available in developed countries, and not even everyone can access it.

I thought a bit more about what it would be like to feel hungry all the time, intensely and painfully, and knowing that even if I did get something to eat, it would be meager, and might not even be absorbed into my system due to parasites or digestive problems caused by hunger. It is a vicious cycle, and it is appalling to think that it is simply a way of life for many people—and many of them are here in America.

My hope is that community gardens will become more plentiful in the years to come, as I think this is a relatively simple solution to implement, at least in the short-term. There are many great ones already serving their communities, and several robust programs like the Edible Schoolyard project in Berkeley even bring community gardening to schools in “food deserts.” These projects also teach children the responsibility of managing a garden, so they literally get to grow their own food.

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