On A More Serious Note…


A girlfriend of mine, Krytal, had an article go up on ScientificAmerican.com recently.  She also has her own anthropology blog at AnthropologyInPractice.com. Why am I mentioning this on a food blog of all places? Because it’s my website damn it, and I can post whatever the hell I want to. That and her article was about the industrialization of  food and how it has impacted us from a historical POV, along with how it might continue to affect us. Titled, “Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Will Industrialized Foods Be the End of Us?”

In response to Krystal’s question, “Will industrialized foods be the end of us?” I say no, and am glad to hear that she feels the same way. What will happen, just as her article have provided evidence for, is that, as the times change, food issues change, and therefore, people will have to adjust to those changes, just as with everything else in life. It’s just interesting seeing the new issues that come up and then trying to brainstorm solutions.

It made me think of random instances and snippets of conversations that have come up.

-How the American born and raised cashier in a local supermarket didn’t know what sun dried tomatoes or craisins were, but was curious enough to ask me what they were and how to use them as she rang me up.

-How I don’t know if I’ll have children one day, but if I do, I’ll pray to the gods everyday that they love and enjoy all types of food,  and be extremely adventurous eaters, because if all they want to eat day and night is hot dogs or boxed mac ‘n’ cheese I’ll cry.

-How when I meet kids or adults who will only eat certain foods, or grimace whenever it is even suggested that they try a new food, I die a little bit on the inside because food in general is just so tasty to me.

-How I caught a few minutes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and was in shock when kids in elementary school could not identify a fresh tomato.  Really????

-How everything nowadays is labeled organic and people keep talking about buying local produce.

-How when I am on line at my local supermarket, I seem to be the only one in line who has fresh vegetables and fruits in my basket.  This really reflects the bad eating habits in my neighborhood, especially when you see the fruits and vegetables in the store rotting, because people aren’t buying enough or it, or fast enough.

-How I have a dirty little secret, which is I enjoyed school lunches growing up, even the hamburgers that bounced and the rubbery chicken parm.  This doesn’t really have anything to do with the rest of what I am writing, I just really needed to get that off my chest.

As Americans,  we’ve come to rely on industrialization and till recently, never seemed to care to much about where our food came from and what was in it. Why do we care now? There are lots of overweight people in our country now, and a lot of people who are addicted to fast food chains, where one meal there, can equal the amount of calories a grown man should have in an entire day.

How is America changing things?

-We can’t leave everything up to parents. If that parent doesn’t eat ‘well’ , they’ll pass on those bad habits on to their children and  the cycle just repeats itself. So what you do is educate them in school and feed them ‘well’ within those school walls.

-We need to find a way to make fresh produce more affordable so that people can incorporate it into their daily lives. Finances shouldn’t be an excuse for why a family or school can’t eat ‘well,’ but the problem is that it is. Think about it, I can eat more meals if I spent $5 on ramen, than if I spent $5 of organic vegetables or meat.

-The idea and popularity of ‘quality’ food trucks and stands is revolutionary.  Krystal writes about  the Good/Fast/Cheap model, and this is what  ‘quality’ food trucks and stands can do for Americans. So many other countries have night markets, with tasty fare, great ingredients and very low prices that are good, fast and cheap. It’s mind boggling that this idea hasn’t transferred over here faster, especially with real estate prices in NYC being so expensive. Growing up, there were pretty much just hot dog carts, and god knows they taste good, but aren’t fit for daily consumption.

Any other ideas you want to bring up? If so, leave a comment. My brain is fried and I need to get some shut-eye.

-Joyce Huang

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