Bashir Ahmed is a professional mixed martial arts athlete and a WWF-Pakistan Goodwill Ambassador.
“People have recognized their fragility and they want to take action. The first action that most people take is vegetable gardening.”
Empty shelves in grocery stores, images and stories of people stockpiling food and news articles discussing the possibility of supply chains being disrupted is common these days. Many of us have taken a moment to question what was once taken for granted. Will there be enough food to go around during this pandemic?
This moment in history has made us all realize that if the comforts of our modern world are taken away, we are at a loss in how to take care of ourselves and this has opened up a new window or rather a resurgence of interest in self-sufficiency throughout the world. A quick google search will show you that interest in home vegetable gardening has surged around the world in light of the current situation. From the United States to Malaysia, news headlines show that the public at large has shown an increased interest in learning how to grow vegetables on their own. My own interest in vegetable gardening began about a year and a half ago and resulted as an offshoot of the general increase in environmental awareness that occurred within me after becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for WWF-Pakistan.
"Our current lifestyles of extreme convenience come at a cost to mother nature."
Our current lifestyles of extreme convenience come at a cost to mother nature. Eating exotic fruits, which would normally be out of season, comes not only at the cost of an increased carbon footprint but makes us less conscious of the ebbs and flows of natural life. Just a hundred years ago, it would be very hard to imagine eating produce that wasn’t in season.
I have even heard theories that our bodies are adapted to eating certain foods in certain seasons. But what does this have to do with the current situation? Just like I became more aware of my place in the environment, COVID-19 has helped propel millions of people towards the same frame of mind. We watch as our skies become clearer, we read stories of how animal behaviours have changed, and many of us for the first time in our lives experienced thoughts of food not being available and of going hungry. These and other experiences have put our role on this planet into perspective for many people who may not have given it much thought before. People have recognized their fragility and they want to take action. The first action that most people take is vegetable gardening. Once one starts getting involved with growing their own food they become connected to nature and educate themselves on the basic life systems. They take time out of their day to care for living beings that will provide sustenance for them.
To think about your food as a living being instead of a processed commodity to be rushed through a check-out lane to stuff your face with makes a world of a difference. This pandemic has changed the world forever. It has changed behaviours and outlooks towards life and our existence on this Earth. Let those changes that occur be the most positive they can be.