Monday, October 13, 2008

Let's Catch Up Over Soup

We are truly on the verge of a revolution in diet in this country--solid, lasting change will persevere. As Americans we have been on a fast track toward wrecking our bodies as a species constantly barraged by mixed messages, inundated with mass media and advertising, and bombarded by 30,000 new products introduced into the food market a year. It is natural that our understanding has been skewed. But when a book about the history of four meals and a synopsis of modern agribusiness can become a bestseller, it says to me that people are paying attention to the inextricable link between diet and health. Well, diet and mortality for that matter. Even more importantly, we are awakening (some say re-awakening) to the idea that our food choices are linked, in some good ways and some bad, to our environment and also to each other. We're not only seeing wont for delicious, nutritious organic foods, but also for sitting down, slowing down, enjoying foods, savoring them, getting back to simplicity in cooking and flavor, creating a symbiotic relationship with our environs and using the dinner table to fortify relationships.

It feels like such a good time to be going into nutrition.Change is afoot. Look at all the resources I've found so recently posted on the internet. The NYT Magazine's last issue was devoted entirely to food--just a month before election day, one of the nation's most influential newspapers decided that this was a major issue for the American voter. Here are some great articles I found from it:

Please check out this particularly apt article in the New York Times by Michael Pollin, whose latest book, In Defense of Food, I am currently reading. The article is great for a couple reasons, mostly because it sort of summarizes the great points of the book I am reading, but also because I feel like Pollin really emphasizes the idea that a large part of each of our carbon footprints is from agribusiness and, quite simply, the food we eat. It is so easy to forget this when we're toting our canvas bags to Trader Joe's, but in actuality, when you drop that papaya in your basket, you're paying for something that was flown across the globe using gallons of fuel and causing detrimental impacts to our globe. Pollin takes this encompassing look that is intensely admirable--he always incorporates sustainability information and global impacts into his work while at the same time not losing nutrition or the savory, wonderfulness that is EATING and food.

Check out this article for how indicative what we put in our mouths is in regard to our choice for presidential candidate. Something I've explored before.

Here's an article on Obama and McCain and where they stand on Farm and Food Policy. You will not be too surprised by what you find out, most notably that neither of them are taking any strong stances or moves in any direction. Food will be a major political issue in the next four to eight years in this country, but is unfortunately currently being back-burnered for more pressing issues.

Finally, I want to say a little bit about eating seasonally. Many people emphasize eating seasonally because it is simply going to be fresher, taste better and naturally encourage locavorianism. But I also genuninely believe that it puts one in a relationship with the environment that is has been something we've lacked since the beginning of exploration and trade. It's clear that we'll never be in a spot to simply munch what we are able to hunt or gather again (though there are interesting studies on aboriginal cultures in this aspect), we can try to achieve some sort of spiritual connection to our ravaged Earth, even as city dwellers! Isn't eating seasonally (and locally) one of the simplest ways to do so? Doesn't making pumpkin soup around Halloween sound just delicious? Why not carry it a little farther. Here are some easy resources I found for finding out what is good to eat in your location during any particular season:
I still have some questions about stuff... like, are grains seasonal? What about fish and seafood? I'll try to explore this when I have a bit more time, but this is at least a start. I think autumn is the most amazing time to think about foods and start trying new recipes.



oliviaharis said...

This is fantastic! I’m throwing a Soup party in a couple of weeks, so I did a google search and came upon your page. I love that people are out in the world making things like this happen.
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Beatrice said...

Soup…. just love it, it's an indispensable part of my diet plan.