Climate Change To Make Us Happy Peasants
By Paul Brown
In a warmer world all of us, especially city dwellers, have a lesson to learn from people in Eastern Europe who have for generations grown their own food for the sake of their own health and their society’s wellbeing.
LONDON, 17 January – The perception of Eastern Europe as backward because “poor urban peasants” need to avoid hunger and shortages by growing their own food on allotments and in gardens is a myth.
Academic research into how the world will feed itself faced with climate change and a growing population has found the pompous western Europeans can learn much from the “practical peasants of the east.”
Western European and North American societies, on this reading, are out of date and in danger of shortages of their own. They need to learn from the east about growing some of their own vegetables and fruit before transporting food long distances to feed cities becomes more expensive and leads to shortages.
In contrast to being a “survival strategy of the poor”, as the World Bank and others have claimed, the homegrown food networks of Eastern Europe were an important part of social cohesion and community.
Surveys showed that growers shared their produce and nurtured family and community bonds, and their food was valued for its better nutrition and taste...
Across Eastern Europe hunger was not the primary motive. Researchers in a Slovak village found that a mixture of altruism and self-interest was involved, with mutual help and sharing of resources part of the movement.
“Home-grown food and drink (wine and fruit brandy) are shared with guests and friends and their consumption not only celebrates the relationship of hospitality, but serves as an opportunity to appreciate the time, effort and skills invested into the growing of crops and their preparation for consumption.....
You see the peasants were so happy and well fed under communism that they toiled in the fields foe the joy of it. Oh halcyon days! Oh that those days could return and the miserable bourgeoisie in the west could embrace it! All we need is an excuse to make it so......