~Wed~ Nov 1st 2006
“How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used,” wrote Wendell Berry in What Are People For?, his 1990 collection of essays about the individual and community. Berry is one of my heroes: a Christian philosopher-farmer from Kentucky. He’s one-of-a-kind.
Sierra Magazine, published by Sierra Club, features a series of articles this month on how the world looks at food. You don’t have to agree with the Sierra Club’s politics and aims to get useful information from these articles. They include:
- “Cheap Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation). “Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than anyone else, but it costs us dearly.”
- “Produce to the People” by Constance Matthiessen and Anne Hamersky. “Community gardens and farmers’ markets challenge convenience stores and fast-food joints.”
- “From Cotten to Collards” by Mark Winne. “To combat obesity, Alabama turns to farmers’ markets.”
- “Ten Ways to Eat Well” by Bob Schildgen. Ten food commandments (that tend toward the “green” side of things).
- “Secrets of the Supermarket” by Paul Rauber. “Navigating the health claims, environmental woes, and marketing myths of a modern grocery store.”.
- “Truth in Labeling” by Jennifer Hattam. “Everyone’s making food claims these days. Here’s a guide to all those seals and symbols.”
- “Home Cooking” by Gary Paul Nabhan. “A radical proposal for really local eating.”
- Discussion questions for Michael Pollan’s recent The Omnivore’s Dilemma. (Which I mentioned previously.)
I found the last page of the magazine most interesting of all. It simply features four photographs of families from different countries, each displaying a week’s worth of food.
The Mendozas of Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Guatemala
The Cavens of American Canyon, California
The Dongs of Beijing, China