How can we as a species come back from the brink of destructive over-consumption, and turn instead toward more sustainable systems, systems that allow us to obtain the resources we require as part of a balanced ecosystem that can continue to replenish itself (and therefore us) in perpetuity?
How can we learn to live in harmony with the world that sustains us?
That is the question.
And the answers aren’t terribly mysterious or impossibly difficult: we can find them in the lives we humans led for thousands and thousands of years before industrialization threw us into overdrive and drew us away from the land and spiraled us out of all balance. To quote Roxanne Swentzell in her introduction to The Pueblo Food Experience Cookbook:
If our economy dried up tomorrow, if the stores closed, what could you make to eat with the resources you have now? This thought has always led me back to my ancestors, who were the true permaculturalists of this arid Southwest. They figured out how to live sustainably in this environment for thousands of years. I look to them for answers. (p xiv)