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Practicing Ideals

Ideally, I will present you with bite-size chunks of energy as well as longer reflections. Hold me to my commitment to this balance, please.

Here is a short story of my day so far, which I am sharing because it is an example of many chunks of energy and Chunks of Energy. I woke up early to attend a qi gong course (my third one ever), and got there an hour early by accident. The wonderful thing that happened was a conversation with a man who makes breakfast and lunch in the lobby of the building where my course is, and that was chunk of energy number one. I gathered more chunks of energy during my course, and cleared my mind before a getting-to-know-one-another meeting of local movers and shakers who are working toward greening our small neighborhood of Duluth Avenue in Montreal. Lots of good intentions and fodder came of that meeting—chunks of energy number three. I came home midday and broke my fast on raw cacao and goji berry Chunks of Energy. They are the newest flavor, and they are powering my day in such a good way. May they energize you, too.

The Incredible Bulk

Chunks of Energy are a great idea. Great ideas are simply creative fodder—nothing more, nothing less. They synergize and scatter about in brain-space until they are expressed in some way, shape, or form. The union of unfettered idealism with realizable practicality is necessary for fodder to be fertilized, cultivated, and harvested. Chunks of Energy are offspring of this partnership of ideals and reality. The ideal is that good food should be good for taste buds, tree buds, greenbacks, backpacking, packing light, and treading lightly. The reality is that we practice this ideal with integrity: the contents are honest, and the form of offering the product is true to the wisdom that “one needs chaos in the soul to give birth to a dancing star” (thanks for that, Nietzsche). The chaos is the struggle of wanting to do good by what we have, and the dancing star is the practical and joyful application of that struggle.

Dancing Star offers Chunks of Energy in bulk food bins because that way of buying food is an enjoyable practice in conscientious consumption. It is practical because of the price—or lack thereof—that reflects the true cost of the product itself, instead of being tainted with labels, packaging, and making a hierarchy of shelf space. It is enjoyable because a kitchen filled with jars of beans, grains, nuts, and seeds is quite pleasing to the eye. Ten pounds of Chunks of Energy come preserved in one (potentially-reusable, and definitely recyclable) cardboard box and one plastic bag. Picture ten pounds worth of energy bars or granola bars, which weigh in at an ounce or two each. That is a lot of stuff to throw away!

I keep Chunks of Energy in a mason jar in my refrigerator and they are always fresh and grabable. When I get to the end of the jar, I use the crumbles on top of toast spread with tahini. Delicious. I have the distinct advantage of nearly unlimited Chunks of Energy from my dad, so I don’t buy them in a store. For the bulk goods that I do purchase, I bring the jars or bottles that I store them in with me to the shop for refilling. If your bulk-food provider doesn’t allow you to tare your container, why don't you suggest doing so? Some states don’t allow that practice because of germ-spreading potential, but you could probably reuse the plastic bags that you use to transport goods from store to jar.

How satisfying to have no more or no less of what we need. Enough is enough! Best wishes officiating the marriage of reality and ideals.

Dear Readers

Thanks for stopping by on your wander, stroll, or saunter through the blogosphere. If you already know what Chunks of Energy are, basically, then I encourage you to feed us back with how they act in your life. If you don’t know what Chunks of Energy are, then allow me to break the ice. For a more complete introduction—a dip in a hottub, you might say—check out the website of Dancing Star, where you’ll find history of the makers, product details, where to get them, and more. Please note that the Dancing Star website will be changing a lot in the near future, so if there’s something you need to say in the meantime, don’t hesitate to email me at My name is Leah, by the way. Hi!

So, Chunks of Energy, the food, are the brainchild of my dad, whose name is Michael Garfield-Wright. Thirty years ago, following a year-long stint on Wall Street, he decided that stress, toxic environments, and false relationships were not his thing. He sought to replace that unsustainable lifestyle with a wholly satisfying one, and began to explore the small but important ways of empowered living. In the decade or so that followed, he learned all about food and how it can be good for the self. He also discovered that stress, toxic environments, and false relationships are not really up anyone’s alley, and he wanted to be a catalyst in the campaign for awareness about what we’re eating. In the early 80’s, he and my mom moved to the Pioneer Valley where they could pursue the sort of graceful living they had in mind. One beard and one daughter (my sister Hannah) later, Michael finally figured out that this product—Chunks of Energy—were exactly good enough to serve. Fast forward 20 years, and you end up now, with me, my little sister, and Chunks of Energy in every United State. Local coops were our first customers, and they still carry them, as well as Whole Foods Markets and everything in between.

That’s the "seed" of Dancing Star and our Chunks of Energy, in a nutshell, or a seedhull, or what have you.

Here is a picture of our homestead last winter. It looks just about the same, still. Thank goodness!