We are living in a uniquely challenging time. Every day we are faced with a level of complexity and intensity unknown by any age of humans before us. Rapid social and technological evolution has brought great benefits, but has also left casualties in its wake, such as a growing disconnection between consumers and the producers of our food. We have a lot on our plates, but we don’t know where it comes from. This might be understandable, but it’s not healthy.

By asking a simple question – where does this food come from? – we begin a process that leads to greater awareness of how the world around us works, who we are in that world, and how the food we eat represents what we want the world to be. It starts with more conscious eating, but as we discover how far the consequences of what we choose to eat reach, it becomes about more conscious living. And it is an empowering process. As individuals it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the immensity of global problems like climate change and mass poverty. But when you understand how much your choice of beef or tomato or fish either supports or undermines systems you disagree with, you begin to comprehend that the value of eating “good” food is universal, not just personal. Your choice is powerful.

Agricultural produce is not what it used to be. In most parts of the world, including South Africa, industrialisation of food production has raised threats unheard of only two generations ago: genetic modification, aggressive use of pesticides and herbicides, intense animal cruelty, livestock raised on routine antibiotics and growth hormones. Years from now our children will look back on the present notion that these issues do not pose major health risks with the same disbelief that we look at old advertisements promoting the benefits of smoking.

But ignoring these problems or praying that society will return to simpler way of life is not the answer. We acknowledge that our food is increasingly being produced by corporations that are not primarily motivated by our best health and wellbeing. Perhaps eating this type of food is as much genuine ignorance as it is a process of willful forgetting, but the only way to curb the trend is to raise consciousness of the issues and their implications, and to support alternative – often traditional – modes of farming.

Timothy & Clover is committed to facilitating conscious eating: fresh organic and whole foods from local farmers, bought with greater awareness of the effects that our food choices have on our own health and the health of the world around us. We are passionate about reconnecting the consumer with the farmer, and stimulating the growth of a community focused on making a difference through better eating and lifestyle choices. This is positive change, one bite at a time.