Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Food Dogma

As far as I can tell, the namesake of this blog, Permavore, is a word I just made up. A quick Google search indicates that it isn't on the internet, therefore, it must not exist. Of course, I think I'm clever for coming up with such a cute word, but it causes me to think- do we need another word to describe an ethical system for eating? Of course we don't, is the quick answer. But what's the harm? It seems to me that there is a large swath of people who are right now struggling with the question of what to put into their bodies. Michael Pollan writes best sellers on the topic. Food Inc. got a Grammy nomination and a great deal of national attention. Farmer's markets are exploding, and alternative food icons such as Frances Moore Lappe and Wendell Berry are enjoying renewed prominence. People are starting to notice that something is rotten in our food and in our systems of food production, processing and distribution. Our entire food system is making us fat and unhealthy, destroying our environment, all the while failing to support local communities.

But, as most of us either know deep in our very beings or intuit in some repressed part of our imagination, food is a source of joy. Food is at the center of our table when we celebrate and when we enjoy time with family. The art of cooking is as old as civilization. Food is an expression of and a symbol for culture, and in the case of our own culture, the reflection of our food on modern American life is sad, and deadly accurate. The impulse to reclaim the joy in our relationship to food breathes throughout the "food movement", and is in many ways the inspiration for this blog.

Permavorism is inspired by many sources, and I would be remiss to not mention the influence of permaculture, but it is in its essence about the re-enchantment of food with the spirit of ecological vitality. As we partake in the daily regiment of feeding ourselves, we have an opportunity to connect with the entire chain of life that leads to our fork, a chain that is recycled through us and within us, on its way to something else.

Permavorism isn't about rules. When engaged in continual appraisal of the ecological, nutritional and aesthetic values of food, you've got to be open to new information. Permavorism is more of a process- a constantly evolving relationship between us, our dinner, and our planet.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Being a small farmer I felt like I was fairly well educated on food and the bad of industrial agriculture but even I was shocked when I watched Food,Inc. Interesting title for a blog! I like your word and I admit I was just getting ready to Google it, so thank you for explaining. :)