By Jessica Matz
Jews have kosher law, Muslims have halal, Hindus have dietary laws in the Dharmaśāstra, and I eat local/organic when I can. For me, my good friend, K, and many other Pagans, it’s more than just being a locavore or eating like a hippie. There are distinct religious connotations behind the reasons we choose to eat this way, but we really don’t have a word that describes this. K suggested eco-kashrut, but we both agreed that it didn’t quite fit our meaning. I would like to propose the term “eating Gi” as an alternative.
Gi, or Γη, simply means Earth in Greek and it is our connection to the Earth as Pagans that often is the motivation behind how we conduct ourselves. This is integral to the Pagan tendency to be involved in environmentalism because many of us are of the understanding that being good to the Earth is no different than being good to ourselves. By “eating Gi” we’re literally eating the Earth (or, rather, her fruits).
This, then, is the principle behind “eating Gi.” It is not so much a set of restrictive laws or rules, but rather an ideal to work toward. Here again, we go back to the Hellenic idea of arete. If it is that I’m aiming for arete in my profession, in the upkeep of my body, in my relationships with other people and with the Theoi, there’s no reason not to extend this to my eating habits. I’ll try to lay out some of the ideals here. I suppose we can call them the Gi principles.