I’ve been little by little reading my way through a variety of books about food, food production, agriculture, the politics of food, etc. How I got here, to this topic, is sort of a long story. As with other areas of interest I’ve fallen into, it can be as simple as randomly picking up a book, or seeing something on the news, or hearing someone else talk about something that sounds interesting but that I know nothing about, and off I go. Suffice it to say, this has been my life for awhile.
Anyway, so here I am in the crazy world of food. By the way, it’s almost better not to know anything about food, I’ve discovered. Once you know even a small tidbit about it you want to know everything, and once you know everything or a large amount, you wish you could go backwards and know nothing again. Maybe that’s just me, but consider this as my warning to you. Do not read anything about food! It will force you to rethink a great many things about something as everyday as eating, and that can be uncomfortable.
That seems to be the way it often goes, though. Once you start to see the connections it all becomes mind-boggling, and you suddenly realize that you can’t go backwards and therefore must block out everything you’ve learned or take action. But then again, that’s what I think education should be showing, the connections…or how everything is connected to the person doing the learning. But so often it’s the opposite. Everything’s broken up, and in the process gets lost in this sort of vaguely connected blob of knowledge. God forbid you should be a student who is interested in a topic like food, which amazingly enough is tied to almost every school subject area, and some not so schooly subject areas (at least not K-12). If you were to delve into it with even just a touch of curiosity you would walk away with a more in-depth knowledge of culture, sociology/psychology, environmental studies, politics, business, and science then if you were to study the generalities of any one of those subjects.
I personally, am walking away with a better idea of how many people, including myself, are involved in something as simple as what goes on my plate and even before that what’s available to me in my local grocery store. You can’t get any more personally relevant than that…especially if you love food as much as I do.