With the advent of modern farming practices throughout the last century, we have lost our sense of place in respect to our region. We have introduced Genetically modified organisms, pesticides, fertilizers and other agrochemicals that contribute to a significant degradation of our land and resources. We have created widespread ecological damage and negative health effects while increasing the yields and output of our crops. It’s a terrible trade off for so many reasons, not only for our eco-system and health but our culture as well. It should be strange that the “seasonal fruit” offered at nearly every single restaurant is always the same tropical fruit no matter what time of the year it is. Unfortunately this way of thinking is perpetuated in culinary arts programs across America but one day soon should also meet a similar death to the once taught principles of ham with pineapple and maraschino cherry and creepy green jello molds.
Since WWII and the creation of the suburb, highway, grocery store, canned vegetable, boxed meal and frozen pizza, very few consumers have demanded to know more about where the food they purchase comes from, how it’s been grown and even fewer have questioned if it’s been produced in an ethical way. Commercial processing and edible plastics aside, most people are so disconnected from the groceries they purchase that they never even consider the low-wage factory workers who package this stuff. It all seems so strange and un-natural. Hunting and gathering in an air conditioned and controlled environment where the “big kill” is finding a check out isle of less than 2 people deep. Unwrapping plastic off of your food is the new washing the dirt off of it for the first time in, well… ever.