Food, Glorious Food

What Is Happening In The World?

"In the current regulatory environment, the rules make small-scale traditional food production and distribution almost impossible. Selling home-baked bread, or any food prepared in a home kitchen, is prohibited by most, if not all, health codes in the United States. Livestock for sale (with the exception of poultry, in most places) may not be slaughtered by the farmers who raise them; instead they must be trucked to anonymous factory-like commercial slaughterhouses. Milk and other dairy products may not be sold without pasteurization, which diminishes nutritional quality, digestibility, and flavor. Cider, too, is nearly always required to be pasteurized or irradiated. In other words, real food, increasingly illegal, is being replaced by processed food products. Laws dictating food standards are driven by the model of mass production, where sterility and uniformity are everything, rendering much of the trade in local food technically illegal. Eating well has become an act of civil disobedience."

-Sandor Elix Katz, The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved
More content coming soon!

Where Can I Learn More?

The Omnivore's Dilemma Michael Pollan The Unsettling of America Wendell BerryFast Food Nation Eric Schlosser Diet For A Small Planet LappĂ©

Recommended Reading

Berry, Wendell (1977). The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture.
Lappé, Frances Moore (1971). Diet for a Small Planet.
Pollan, Michael (2006). The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Schlosser, Eric (2001). Fast Food Nation.

Further In-Depth Reading

Berry, Wendell (2009). Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food.
Carpenter, Novella (2009). Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.
Flores, Heather (2006). Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community.
Foer, Jonathan Safran (2009). Eating Animals.
Fukuoka, Masanobu (1975). The One-Straw Revolution.
Katz, Sandor Elix (2006). The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved.
Mollison, Bill (1988). Permaculture: A Designers' Manual.
Pollan, Michael (2008). In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.
Pollan, Michael (2002). The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World.
Salatin, Joel (2007). Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front.

How I Fell In Love With A Fish

Chef Dan Barber finds a fish farm in Spain that farms extensively and produces more than just fish: it cleans the water, feeds the birds, and is a healthy ecosystem. 

What Can I Do To Create Positive Change?

The following is Wendell Berry's answer to this question, from his essay "The Pleasures of Eating." More coming soon!

1. Participate in food production to the extent that you can. If you have a yard or even just a porch box or a pot in a sunny window, grow something to eat in it. Make a little compost of your kitchen scraps and use it for fertilizer. Only by growing some food for yourself can you become acquainted with the beautiful energy cycle that revolves from soil to seed to flower to fruit to food to offal to decay, and around again. You will be fully responsible for any food that you grow for yourself, and you will know all about it. You will appreciate it fully, having known it all its life.

2. Prepare your own food. This means reviving in your own mind and life the arts of kitchen and household. This should enable you to eat more cheaply, and it will give you a measure of "quality control": you will have some reliable knowledge of what has been added to the food you eat.

3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home. The idea that every locality should be, as much as possible, the source of its own food makes several kinds of sense. The locally produced food supply is the most secure, freshest, and the easiest for local consumers to know about and to influence.

4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist. All the reasons listed for the previous suggestion apply here. In addition, by such dealing you eliminate the whole pack of merchants, transporters, processors, packagers, and advertisers who thrive at the expense of both producers and consumers.

5. Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production. What is added to the food that is not food, and what do you pay for those additions?

6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.

7. Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience if possible, of the life histories of the food species.