January 14th, 2018
Islam Fellow Moors
As we approach the Islamic Month of Rabi’ul-Akhir – Jumadal-Awwal 1439 (January 2018, Gregorian), with it comes plans to make positive changes in all areas of our lives. Be it health, career or family related, we can all identify with the idea of “new year, new changes, new resolutions”. I write this article with love in hopes that we all can begin to embrace and cultivate our lives around being “food sovereign”.
Food Sovereignty, by online definition is “the right of peoples healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems”. Changes in how we identify with food and how our food is supplied has been an ever changing and growing topic of discussion over the past decade. With the passing of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act  in 1990, this required that all major manufacturers of prepackaged, frozen, canned and liquids food and drinks, label their food products with “Nutrition Facts”; information on the nutritional values per serving size in each product. The labels detail the amount of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fibers, sugars and proteins. It also lists the amount of vitamins, minerals and additives to the products and provides the “Daily Value” of how much the specific food product contributes to the daily value based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. This additional information brought forth and generated discussions in households around the country and heightened awareness of that of which our purchased food actually consists.
This led to an increase in home gardening (horticulture), with many households looking for foods that are organic (food that is grown without the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and are intended to be free of feed additives), Organic food is also regulated by federal legislature to be free of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs thusly increasing the need and desire of many US households to grow their own foods.
A new study reveals that out of nearly 164 million homeowners in the United States, nearly half (49%) have gardened in the past 12 months. Gardening homeowners are also 26% more likely to buy locally grown food.
Growing our own sustainable foods also contributes and leads to other health benefits that are indirectly related to gardening. Some of these facts are:
- An investment of $70 per year can yield up to $530 worth of produce and savings to your grocery budget
- Vegetables gardeners can increase your homes value by up to 11% of their current market value for the area they live in.
- Urban gardeners benefit by “communal gardens, rooftop gardens and indoor gardening which can be shared amongst neighbors and community members
- Properly planted trees around your home can actually save your home energy bill. Shade trees can assist in reducing the amount of air conditioning costs and can shield against the wind, reducing your energy costs by 10%
- There are several health benefits from gardening as well. The physical activity from gardening can burn 200 to 300 calories per hour. If you spend 1 hour per day, 5 days of the week, you can burn up to 1250 calories per week.
- The act of gardening can give you a sense of fulfillment to our own respective human needs across the four existential states of being, doing, having and interacting.
It is increasingly becoming essential to increase our awareness and educate ourselves around food sovereignty in Moorish-American households across our respective republics. In the name of Allah, the Holy Quran, Surah Al-Anaam 6, ayat141, via Prophet Muhammad (sa’ alahaialayhiwa-salam) teaches us the following :
“And he it is who causes gardens to grow, both trellised and untrellised, palm trees and crops, different kinds of food and olives and pomegranates, alike and unlike. Eat of each of its fruits when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, he does not like those who commit excess.”
It is written in the Holy Bible, New International Version in the Book of Genesis, Verse 1:29 the following :
“Then God said, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. Thy will be yours for food.”
It is written in Chapter 38, v. 1 in the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America the following :
“The blessing, O man, of thy external part is health, vigor and proportion. The greatest of these is health. What health is to the body even that is honesty to the soul”.
Upon what is taught in our various texts through our Holy Prophets, it is imperative that we begin to learn to grow and sustain our own foods. We must take heed to the warnings that Mother Earth is giving us through the warming of our planet, the significant climate changes that we are presently experiencing, harnessing our own understandings about food sovereignty, understanding the importance of growing and making or own natural herbs, teas, home remedies, and increasing our knowledge of holistic approaches to man-made diseases that are affecting our communities on a daily basis. We must begin the process of teaching our children so that future generations of Moorish-Americans can instruct their children on the importance of food sovereignty, thereby separating ourselves and, soon come,making our familiesindependent in determining our food sources and supply, current and future.
In the coming months, we welcome you to this Web Log (Blog). We will share on a monthly basis, tips, tricks, techniques, photos, pictures, planting schedules, food planting zone maps, natural remedies for insects, pests and wildlife, seed sharing forums and websites, terminology and definitions and answer any questions that one may have about home horticulture. We welcome and encourage your input, suggestions and ideas of what you would like to read about in this web log in hopes of developing and furthering our understandings regarding food, hand and heart.
Humbly Yours In Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice,
 According to the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance
 Inspection Guides, Nutritional Labeling and Education Act
 Elements Lawn Care, 15 Gardening Facts and Statistics that will blow your mind
 Online Holy Quran, Surah Al-An’am 6
 Online Holy Bible, New International Version
 Written in the HKMSTA, personal copy
Chapter 38, verse 1