Did you hear that? It was the sound of me bashing my own skull against my coffee table. There I was, sipping Bengal Spice tea,...Read More
The Pleasure of Eating
This link will take you to a powerful essay by Kentucky author Wendell Berry. He seems to be a throw-back… described by wikipedia as a “man of letters,” which I take to mean intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken – characteristics valued less and less in this tweetable, Facebook era.
Anyway. Here are some of my favorite bits from the essay. It’s beautifully written and packs a “pay attention” punch.
The consumer… must be kept from discovering that, in the food industry—as in any other industry—the overriding concerns are not quality and health, but volume and price. For decades now the entire industrial food economy, from the large farms and feedlots to the chains of supermarkets and fast-food restaurants, has been obsessed with volume. It has relentlessly increased scale in order to increase volume in order (presumably) to reduce costs. But as scale increases, diversity declines; as diversity declines, so does health… The food is produced by any means or any shortcut that will increase profits. And the business of the cosmeticians of advertising is to persuade the consumer that food so produced is good, tasty, healthful, and a guarantee of marital fidelity and long life.
Eaters must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines… how the world is used.
Eating with the fullest pleasure—pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance—is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.