Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Cooking; Deep thinking about food.

Last night my husband and I went to an unusual play at our local university.  The play based on the book, The American Way of Eating, by the same title by Tracie McMillan.  The book was chosen as the school's in-depth everyone reads book choice and the theatre department head decided that in celebration of that; they should workshop it into a play.  From a very unorthodox beginning the play came together and was an amazing display of team work and artistic talent plus the audience members learned a lot of interesting facts.

Even though I haven't read the book which is about Tracie's journey to uncover what happens to produce from field to store to restaurant I get it.  I'm the proverbial choir.  I shop at the farmer's market, I don't shop at Wal-Mart or eat at chain restaurants or fast food.  I did however not know enough or think about it enough what happens in the farm fields where undocumented or immigrants work.  In Iowa I am familiar with disgusting meat plants that pluck workers from other countries in order to create an "affordable" work force.  It is criminal how little they are paid for a long day's work; back-breaking work and they are afraid to stand up for better conditions for fear of losing the little income they get.  The play also touched on women's rights and how easily those in charge take advantage of them.

I don't know how to solve it beyond talking about it, writing about it, and encouraging folks to read her book and many others with similar themes about our broken food system.   We want cheap food but at what cost and on who's back are we stepping on to get garlic at a "rock-bottom price".

Be aware.  Be thoughtful.  Investigate a lot.  Question more.

This post is loosely linked to Weekend Cooking hosted by Candace at Beth Fish Reads.  There you will find other foodies who love exploring recipes.

Other food-related news:

I created this delicious zucchini soup this past week for a quiet dinner for my husband and I.  I plan to make this soup this week to use up swiss chard and zucchini.  I made a mole sauce yesterday for a pumpkin enchilada dish I'm making this week for friends that I'm going to hear Bonnie Raitt with in concert.  I made mini raspberry muffins for my book club kids-they asked for seconds.

Overall it has been a good food week here at our house.

And in preparation for winter I've been cleaning out the gardens by making two more batches of pesto with basil from my mother's garden; it is beginning to freeze here at night and neither one of us wants to lose any basil.  I think I'm also going to freeze mint leaves in cubes.  I'm watching my zucchini and butternut squash plants carefully as I have several there to bring in.

Have a bountiful week!


Laurie C said...

I planned to make pesto today, too! I've got to get out there now and pick the basil!

Peaceful Reader said...

I agree Laurie! It is such a waste to let those beautiful basil leaves wither in the cold air.

Tina's Blog said...

You will love this book! I read it this spring- so much to think about!

Unknown said...

I've got a book similar to this that I'm looking forward to reading - Politics of the Pantry. I think it's important to be thoughtful and intentional in what you eat and where you spend your food dollars. For lots of people Wal-Mart and other places are their only options. I loathe Wal-Mart, but their support of organic food is making these items more available and that's not a bad thing(tm). It's complicated and I am grateful every single day that I have choices that many people do not.

Anonymous said...

I am fortunate to have very accessible farmer's market and local butcher and dairy but I know that most people don't have that type of access and thus Walmart takes over.

Beth F said...

I too happen to be lucky enough to be able to buy almost everything direct from the grower (at least most of the year), but I think this book sounds like important reading for everyone.

Cecelia said...

Oh, your gardening notes make me long for my own source of fresh veggies this late in the season! Alas, I live in an apartment in the city. I'm going to hunt down a farmer's market next weekend - there has to be one somewhere nearby!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

It's overwhelming to say the least if you think too much about just how much control we DON'T have over what we eat. It seems there's a secret behind every corner :( Sounds like an important read.