We are the most divorced from ecology and agriculture civilization in history resulting in a cultural ignorance when it comes to food. As was recently said by Joel Salatin, “we know more about the Kardashians than we do about what we eat.”
As I stood there today in the presence of farmers, pseudo-farmers, and food shysters I began to ponder what initial questions we asked while perusing produce and what might be helpful to others. Here is what I came up with:
I’m not into fear-mongering to get people to pay attention to climate change, but this list is just scary.
Beer, football, maple syrup, coffee, chili peppers, chocolate, fishing, wine, apple pie, peanut butter and FIREWORKS!?!?? Something must be done! This is un-american.
Biting into a grape and getting the flavor of cotton candy sounds like an intensely traumatic experience. But before rushing to condemn this adulteration of nature’s candy, you might want to consider this. David Cain, the grapes’ designer, is aiming to “bring back the natural flavors of our grapes,” says NPR. They are conventionally bred. They don’t have much more sugar than your average grocery store grapes — just 12 percent more. They just don’t have a strong tart element, so all you’re tasting is the sugar, and a hint of vanilla that gives the grapes that cotton candy flavor.
I knew Michelle’s blog was going to spark new thoughts and connections about food. Her second post, I eat almost the exact same thing every single day of the year, shares a little more about her personal journey and habits. She also shared about her lack of variety in her diet. This got me thinking.
Variety in the foods we eat is an interesting topic to unpack. For Michelle lack of variety has to do with her disorder. For others it might have to do with poverty or available resources (like a staple diet of rice and beans). The flip side is that we also have an unprecedented variety available in our First World diets. So, for some more variety is healthy, while for others they already have too much variety. This reminds of the incredible photo essay in TIME magazine called What the World Eats which is a series of pictures of families around the world and a display of the food they have in their house.
I’ve often told my wife that if she wanted to put me on a diet and tell me what to eat, I would happily do it. I don’t like thinking so much about my food choices and the variety overwhelms me. I worry about eating the right things, but it feels out of my control.
We don’t have a food culture int he United States the way the French or Mediterraneans do where there is a limited amount of variety, but not too much and you basically get a well-rounded diet that has evolved over many years. The tyranny of choice versus the freedom of boundaries.