Thousands of years ago, all Humans lived by hunting and gathering rather than growing their own food. Because of our hunter-gatherer evolution, we are programmed to use the least amount of energy to seek out the most calorie-dense foods possible.
Agriculture largely helped us change from a species who moved with animal migration patterns to groups of permanent settlements. We began planting crops rather than foraging for what grew naturally, and raising animals instead of following and hunting them.
By the way, agriculture was the start of Human settlements, and created territorialism, social inequalities, slavery, and war.
With more and more people in the planet, many more of those people moved from farms into the bigger cities. Food had to be produced and processed on an exponentially larger scale.
Now more Humans are living in cities, the population is exploding, and people are working all of their day in a factory and do not have any time to get or prepare food.
So here we are. Technology has given us many incredible things, has opened up access to almost limitless amounts of information, and connected us together as Humans in some meaningful ways.
Technology has also further progressed our disconnection from our food and where it comes from.
Now, we can order any type of food, to be delivered anytime we want it. All the effort to grow, harvest, produce, package, and now even cook our food gets outsourced. We are reaping the bounty, without any of the work.
We eat foods from packages and bottles instead of from the Earth. We are consumers of calories instead of nutrients. our food system is more than happy to give you as many calories as you want.
Just sit right there, we will bring you whatever you want.
Sometimes you move through the city and feel in your bones how strange and new this all is.
The spectacle of modern civilization, just barely older than you are.
With all its cramped logic, its rules and gridlines and rigid justifications for why the world must be the way it is.
But there’s a part of you that thinks: you are not at home here. That still remembers Eden, and longs to return.
The story of humanity is a move from the countryside to the big city. But it’s happened so fast our brains are still stuck in the hinterlands.
So now a part of you longs to leave your car idling in traffic, and flee into the wilderness. To live off the land, without tools or simulations, to experience nature in all its simplicity-raw, indifferent, and ferociously real. To feel the lushness and harshness of the wild, the clarity of eating and killing and growing stronger, the dumb luck of surviving the night.
But another part of you knows that Eden is a fantasy, and you’ll always be floating just above it, trailing clouds of civilization wherever you go. Even our ancient symbols of nature are deeply unnatural. The plants we eat are sterile, swollen, unrecognizable to the food chain. Our domesticated animals are caricatures of their wild ancestors. The family dog is just another piece of technology.
And you too are a domesticated animal, shrouded in synthetic fibers and synthetic thoughts. Even if you sleep in the woods with a stove and a backpack, everything from the buzzing in your ears to the howling in the distance will be trying to telling you, you are not at home here.
We need to believe in the fall from Eden. But all along, we were the ones who cast out the World. Who stripped it naked, taught it good and evil, and barricaded ourselves in a walled garden.
We banished most of the World in order to get by. We couldn’t handle the true state of nature-the overwhelming chaos – without first dividing it up in little boxes, in little frames, in little gardens.
Maybe we were wrong from the start.
In the beginning, there was everything.