not a pretty girl

a new person with each new experience

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

In the introduction to a section called The Revolutionary Kitchen in alter magazine it the author sazs "Nothing urks me more than so-called activists who refuse to see the important link between food choice and politics." And I start on the importance fo food rant . . . well, food has always been important in understanding a culture it is important now as it has ever been. Those who study certain aspects of women studies or anthropology will tell you that food will tell you volumes about the society or culture you are looking at. The type of food eaten, the methods of preperation, the divsion of labour with food and so on will tell you about the economics of the society, the relationship with the land and animals, the gender roles, the level of equaliatianism and so on. People who work with the poor, homeless, refuggees, and so on can tell you the importance of food security. The UN defines food security as the availalitiy of safe, nutirious, culturally appropriate foods. There are so many people living without food security. And it is not surprising that these people are victums of the capitalist society. In the food banks of Toronto those receiving the food that is dropped off tend ot be immigrants, often highly educated since the point system to get into the country demands it, yet they suffer racism and there knowledge is not respected therefore are living in a country, attempted to support their familes on with very little support. Then the arrive humbly at the food bank and the food they receive is non nurtirious, and definatly not cutlurally specific. All the "generous" people who provide the food, do not think of the people needing the food, all they do is look in there cubbords a few times a year at christmass and easter usually and take out canned food and kraft dinner. Ummm not that helpful after all. Then you get "socially concsious" organizations that provide mass quanities of food to the food bank. their "good deed" usually is a product that was labled in correctly and often is a suger treat or something unhealthy. And leaving the ideas of nutrition and cultural appropriate out of the equation.

Then we can look at the city government in Toronto who suggest that the people who are not able to survive on the minimal welfare that they recieve go to grocery stores and buy the dented cans. I suppose safety is not an issue for them either.

We can also look at the refugee camps in ireland and note that although the majority of the residence are from Africa, they rarely are given african food, also they are given light foods such as salads when they are culturally use to heavy foods. Both of these reasons cause them to spend much of their 18 euro a week on more food to feed their families.

Food security is just one aspect of the scope of inquiry one can have on food and food consumption in this day and age. This article on The revolutionary kitchen although talks mainly about healthy foods and eating at home it has a very vegan edge to it. The author doe snot lecture on eating vegan yet says things like "invite your crew over for a barbeque, and toast vegan marshmellows." t you get more for the article coems again from the introduction when theauthor says: "taking a cue from billy bragg, I think we nned to 'start our own revolutions and cut out the middleman' by drawing our money away from the sleazy restaurant industry an dinvesting it in ourselves!" The author goes on to say that this makes eating the truely revolutinary act that it is.

We know from history that the food has been used against us. Wether this is in the french revolution or all the "famines" in korea, ireland and so on that have to do with distribution not availability. If the distribution of food has been used as a weapon to stop the energies of revolutionaries, we have to ensure that our revolution is done taking food and food choice into consideration.

james has complainied about the restaurant industry in teh way that it makes him uncomfrotable having someone serve him and that person often deciding when you are done. We can all relate to this expereince and often I find places that have a buffet much more comfortable, you decide how much food, what food and when you want it. but there are more problems with the restuarnat industry then the service. There is the exploiting costs and the conection to the animal killing industry.

Somepeople decide then veggie restuarants are the way to go, unfortuantly rarely do these restaurant act in completely ethical ways. more often then not, these restuarants choice to exploit the very people who are attempting to do less harm in this world by not eating meat. The restuarnt industy depends on the trendyness of veggitarianism just as the health food stores do for vegans and those interested in nutrition. I am not saying that it is wrong to eat out at restaurants, in my previous post I talked about the paradise of teh vegan restuarnt in in austria. But I am questioning the amount of food eaten out, where it is eaten, the nutrition of this food vs the ability to cook healthy food at home and so on.

So the question on what we eat, where we eat it, how it is prepared and so on is essential to understanding our own culture and being revolutionary within in. the last line of The revolutionary kitchen is "The revolution cannot be fought on an empty stomach, COOK and DESTROY!"


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