The Ancient Practice of Gleaning
Gleaning is an ancient tradition that has been practiced by peasants for thousands of years. After farmer’s take their profitable crop, gleaners go to the fields and gather what is left behind that would otherwise go to waste.
Gleaning means to extract resources from various sources, in a way that seeks to do no harm, but rather work in harmony with nature.
Like foraging, gleaning incorporates harvesting of wild foods from forests, parks, backyards, and gardens, for edible plants.
-Oranges gleaned on a road trip in Arizona to the Truth Mind Reality conference
Modern day gleaning includes saving food waste from co-ops, grocery stores, and their waste bins too, as they throw away tons of perfectly good produce due to aesthetic and government regulation.
Gleaning can be incorporated into personal gardening as we observe and work with nature, rather than against it, extracting from various sources. Gleaning what nature gives freely such as utilizing edible and medicinal weeds and planting seeds that are well suited to the environment, using all parts of the plant, and making and using compost from what we don’t consume directly.
-Wild edible weeds
Why is gleaning important?
It is estimated that 40% of food is wasted in the United States, while 1 in 6 Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from. Many of us struggle to afford food, while our own health is sacrificed as the expense of a corrupt consumerist capitalistic system that doesn’t care about our well-being, nor the well-being of the earth.
80% of fresh water consumption goes to food production, yet nearly half of this water is carelessly wasted in food waste, showing a systemic lack of Care for our sacred waters.
34% of methane gas emissions come from the food wasted that ends up in landfills to rot.
$165 billion dollars of food is wasted in America each year, meanwhile we work as slaves to this system for minimal wages and long hours, to just barely get by.
How can we stop supporting the violent food system and eat for free?
To live in harmony and respect with Nature, and for the sake of our independence, sustainability, and freedom, we should strive to obtain food directly from Nature herself. Harvesting from nature, growing our own food, gleaning, choosing vegan, and salvaging food waste can all help subvert the violent food system.
Get in touch with your local gleaners group where you can take part in volunteering with a group to save food from otherwise being thrown in a landfill. Many gleaning opportunities may only be a walk away, and gleaning groups often offer ride shares and transportation for those who need it. If your community does not have a gleaners group, consider dumpster diving independently, contact stores about their food waste, or starting a gleaning group yourself.
Go gleaning independently in nature, especially at this time where wild foods are in abundance. I gather free fruit and berries from parks, allies, and the sides of streets.
-Wild and Free Blackberries
Gardening and growing our own food empowers us to remove our support from the waste in conventional farming such as toxic pesticides, heavy machinery, proceeding, plastic packaging, fossil fuels to be transported long distances, taxation, etc by directly nourish our bodies while connect with mama nature. To subvert the violent food system in society, gardening is something we should all be learning and teaching. If we don’t have the space to garden, it is worth making an effort to look into community gardening opportunities, gorilla gardening, and container gardening. When there is True Will to do something, True Will always finds a way.
Food banks are another great voluntary organization which saves food waste from stores, and receives gleaned food donations. Many even have organic produce options, gluten free breads, and other special dietary needs foods available too.
It is important that we choose to care for our mother earth and all her life forms, our sacred waters, and all of the living beings effected by the violence and rape occurring on mother nature through the violent system of power and control in place. As within, so without. It is important that this care is given to ourselves internally, in exercising our conscious and free will with what we consume with our mind and body is reflected in the exterior world around us.
If we want to eat healthy, we have to decide that it is important and actually make an effort in these choices, even when we are salvaging food waste. Voting with your dollar is a concept you have probably heard of, but we can do even better by expressing our vow to love nature with our actions, and living the example of what we want to see in the world
I have been volunteering with a gleaners group, as well as independently in nature. Even with my food allergies, sensitives, and food products my body and soul just refuses to accept, I am discerning with what I eat, but still find amazing food options that are organic, Vegan, gluten free, non-gmo, and do not require the use of federal reserve notes to be acquired.
You are what you eat, and if we choose to eat food that does good rather than harm and represents Freedom, Truth, and Love, we allow ourselves to Truly live it, cultivating Care for ourselves and our bodies on all levels, directly reflected in our lives and our well-being.
Thank you for your Care. Blessed be.
Follow me on snapchat to see more of what I eat in a day, gluten free and vegan, what food waste I have been gleaning, foraging, and what I am growing.
To support my journey in activism for truth, love, freedom, non-violence and harmony with nature, please donate to paypal.me/sarahgreenwitch