Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details

“Nothing less than the earth”

1 Comment


God bless the Prince of Wales.

Once again, he used his position of influence very thoughtfully this week. At the Langenburg Forum, a German conference on regional – and global – food security, he took on the Emperor of food-production big business and pointed unhesitatingly to the naked truth.

The drive to make food “cheaper” for consumers while it earns corporations bigger profits is sucking out of the food-production system the very things that are critical to its sustainability – and the planet’s, he said.

“I am talking here about obvious things like the vitality of the soil and local ecosystems, the quality and availability of fresh water and so on, but also about less obvious things, like local employment and people’s health.” He noted that such spiraling costs as those of type 2 diabetes and obesity-related disease, coupled with practices that damage the environment really mean that cheap food production is “not cheap at all”.

“Big global corporations may appear to be prospering out of operating on a global monocultural scale but, as I hope you have seen, if you drill down into what is actually happening, things are not so healthy,” Prince Charles said. Not only are current methods of farming depleting crops’ integrity, but also rendering the food system itself “ever more vulnerable to the various external shocks that are becoming more varied, extreme and frequent.”

“The only reason [food] appears cheap in the shops is because the costs either fall somewhere else, or they are being stored up for the future,” he said.

“The price of apparently cheap food is costing nothing less than the Earth.”

What a keeper of a summary line – a rallying call. Spoken in one of my favorite places on the planet, the pristine hilltop setting of Langenburg, Germany.

“Langenburg” means “long mountain”. Meeting and surmounting the challenges, ignorance, and downright treachery in this planet-wide issue can feel like a “long mountain” to climb, too. But we are doing it. And making measurable progress, now. Progress enough that a global media may have been silent about it recently. But not a brave man who, whether or not he ever serves as King, certainly knows what true service is.

Read more about Prince Charles’s address at:



One thought on ““Nothing less than the earth”

  1. Thanks for sharing Prince Charles’s statement on this critical issue about where our food comes from.

    Funny story: I was looking for organic hamburger at Market Basket. Yes they have it, which is the good news. The bad news is that one brand came from AUSTRALIA (I’m serious!) and the other came from Chile and North America (I think Canada). Not exactly sustainable.

    Local beef is available, but you have to go to the smaller stores. Carl’s in Kittery has beef from Maine, and Dover Natural Foods has beef from New Hampshire. Whether or not you eat meat, supporting local farms is good for everybody.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.