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Aug 24, 2022

Thus Spoke Our Chief Philosopher, Tim:

Hi community! I realized that we have all you amazing fans in our email community who support our products, business, and mission, but that I don’t write to you very often!

I’m going to change that by sharing content that inspires me so we can engage with each other as thinking, feeling humans, and hopefully enrich each other’s lives in some way.

Today, I’ll introduce myself so you know more about who I am, where I’m coming from, why I’m choosing to invest the intense amount of energy, money, and time it takes to rn an organic food business, and what we’re hoping to accomplish as a result of it all!

To kick it off with a philosophical flare, I’ll share one of my favorite Nietzsche quotes that I’m living on a daily basis as I build this company (emphases mine):

“For what purpose humanity is there should not even concern us: why you are there, that you should ask yourself: and if you have no ready answer, then set for yourself goals, high and noble goals, and perish in pursuit of them! I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.

I am here to promote the flourishing of all organisms and ecosystems on Earth through my life’s work. Currently, my purpose is expressed through my work with my business, Philosopher Foods. Why did I choose this path, and what are we really trying to create with these cult-favorite nut butters?

I didn’t always care about organic food. I arrived on Earth in a living breathing human body on March 29th, 1987 in Frederick, Maryland, USA. As a kid, I enjoyed a deep visceral connection with the food I ate: pancakes, bacon, cereal, pizza, burgers, milkshakes, fries, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread with no crust.

I didn’t much care for vegetables, especially green or red ones. Even my pizza had to be without tomato sauce (Pizza Hut would often give me a free replacement pizza when they invariably messed it up!)

I ate my food, it tasted good, and generally I felt good. But then, as I got older, I started noticing that some of these foods weren’t actually making me feel that good, and that over time, aspects of my body and mind began dysfunctioning.

I had no idea that my Standard American Diet was harming me with copious amounts of agricultural chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and sweeteners. I really knew nothing about my foods, other than taste, and even the taste was engineered to influence my brain chemicals into thinking it was good for me when it wasn’t. By 16, I was overweight, acne-ridden, and depressed, with no idea why I looked and felt the way I did.

Simultaneously, I had a greater-than-average amount of teenage angst, and a lot of burning questions about myself, society, and being a living being in this universe. I started furiously writing lengthy volumes to explore all of this, which led me on a path to create an independent study in Philosophy during my senior year of high school.

As a freshman at Haverford College in 2005 (yes, I majored in Philosophy), all my thinking led me to join several activist groups, wherein I learned about how conventional agriculture was harming the health of people, animals, and the planet. I changed my diet to organic whole foods, which caused me to lose weight, clear up my skin, and make me feel happier and healthier.

I couldn’t believe that my food choices so profoundly changed not only how I looked and felt, but also the quality of my consciousness. I became keenly aware that there was a direct connection between what I ate and my quality of thinking, feeling, seeing, relating, and being.

I started Philosopher Foods on Earth Day 2013 to help people critically think about their food and make food choices that promote the flourishing of themselves, the rest of Life on Earth, and the ecosystems we all depend on to survive and thrive. The way food is grown and processed has a profound impact on those outcomes, which we intend to illuminate through our work (and through this writing).

Our slogan is Know Thy Foods. We believe that if you are what you eat, then knowing your food is knowing yourself, and that to be the best you, you need the best food. The best food requires regenerative farming and craft processing. We currently make delicious, nutritious, ethical, and ecological craft nut butters.

Our sprouted almond butter, coconut butter, and chocolate versions of both are consciously crafted to promote the flourishing of all stakeholder organisms and ecosystems. Everything we make or buy is USDA Organic certified, Fair Trade Certified where possible, and Glyphosate Residue Free Certified. This year we achieved Regenerative Organic Certification on our coconut butters, and we plan to achieve this on all of our products by this fall, which may make us the first company to do so.

Maybe I’m overcompensating for a particularly poor diet during my first 18 years by swinging in the direction of maximum food virtue, or tapping into my residual teenage rage against the food system for all the harm it’s caused me and so many other people, organisms, and ecosystems, but I’d like to think that I’m creating my Magnum opus contribution to my life’s work of promoting the flourishing of Life on Earth with this company. I’m exceedingly grateful that you’re enabling me to do so!

I have a lot more to say about all of this, which I will cover in future posts. In the meantime, I want to let you know that my family and I will be presenting about our business, tabling, sampling, and selling at the Slow Money Farm Fest in Petaluma, California this Sunday! I’d love to meet you there in person and connect. We’ll also be sharing a big announcement there!

Be nourished,

Tim

“For what purpose humanity is there should not even concern us: why you are there, that you should ask yourself: and if you have no ready answer, then set for yourself goals, high and noble goals, and perish in pursuit of them! I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.”
- Nietzsche

Written by Tim Richards



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