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Eat NZ Kaitaki Lydia Thomsen (Nutritionist/Soil Advocate) and Holly Bagwell (Environmental Warrier) joined creative forces to explore the Mana Kai concept of Hauora / health...
“Ko ahau te taiao, ko te taiao, ko ahau”.
“I am nature; nature is me.”
Our world is an intricate network of living ecosystems. We have come to understand this as our definition of nature. Nature provides us with the gifts of life.
To feed our world, our food system sees food through the lens of production; creating a constant need to produce, produce, produce. It’s as if the gift of food is a scarcity.
By viewing food through the lens of scarcity, we cut up our lands and lace them with fertilisers and pesticides. These machine-like practices contribute to 200 million tonnes of our topsoil lost every year.
If we are nature and nature is us, do we want to view nature as a living being or as a machine?
When we view nature through the lens of a machine, we are always seeking more.
When we view nature as a means of Hauora or health, we seek quality over quantity. We see food as medicine and want to become more connected to the land and soil where our food is grown. However, to grow quality food as medicine, we need healthy living soil.
If food is consciously perceived as more of a gift from nature, ‘a gift that keeps on giving’; food is viewed in abundance, you want everyone to enjoy the full flavours, textures, and health-giving properties of food. You want to respect it as well as protect it.
We maintain wairua - spiritual health (one of four pillars of Hauora) when we realise that there is not much difference between us and nature; recognising nature as an ancestor, a spiritual and living being just like us, who helps us to intuitively sense quality in our food and to promote harmony, balance within our food system.
If we look after nature, nature looks after us…
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