Like last month, I'm splitting up this final section into two chapter chunks (the next one will be posted in two Tuesdays). Not only to give those still behind on the reading a chance to catch up, but for me to pace myself too [it's been a little crazy around here].
Anyway, here are the questions for the first part of the third, and final, section: Personal - The Forest.
Chapter 15: The Forager Hunting is still very much a popular past time (at least here in the U.S.) but foraging seems to be a totally lost art. There's a great stand at our local farmer's market called Foraged & Found Edibles. This time of year they offer morels, sea beans and other delights. The owner, Jeremy Faber, a forestry major turned chef, manages to find and offer something year round. Do you or do you know of anyone that regularly forages - mushrooms, wild berries?
Chapter 16: The Omnivore's Dilemma First off, I thought the whole idea of "reducing the tension of indigestion" was interesting. That eating corn with lime, corn and beans, raw fish with wasabi, etc. either provided protection from food-borne illness and/or made nutrients more bio-available. Another point made in this chapter is regarding the fad diets in America, rotating through fat is bad - carbs are good, protein and fat is good - carbs are bad, blood type diets and more.
Why is it Americans are always in need of some quick fix or diet gimmick instead of eating until sated and slowing down and just enjoying food? I love the whole concept of the Slow Food Movement and the French culture of food which allows one to enjoy food without ruining their health - it's a mixture of culture and neophilia. Are Americans even able to slow down our eating habits and get back to a more "meal"-centric culture that is still enjoyed by Europeans? Or is everything else we do, rushing around like maniacs, driving our kids to far too many over scheduled activities anathema to Slow Food?
Chapter 17: The Ethics of Eating Animals There are two quotes that stood out for me in reading this chapter. The first: "The disappearance of animals from our lives has opened a space in which there's no reality check on the sentiment or the brutality." I've mentioned this in previous posts, but the fact that meat purchased from the supermarket is completely devoid of any semblance of the animal it came from removes (or helps remove) any guilt or thought towards the ethics of eating that animal.
The second quote: "... domestication took place when a handful of especially opportunistic species discovered... that they were more likely to survive and prosper in an alliance with humans than on their own." I remember reading an article many years ago about how fortuitous it was of wolves (which became the domesticated dog) to have, essentially, foisted themselves on humans. They provide humans some protection and companionship and, in turn, they get food and shelter. Clearly (at least for many cultures), dogs are not kept around for food. In this case, it's a pretty amiable relationship. No food ethics involved. But, what about the domesticated critter kept as "food crops"? This definitely gets down to a philosophical argument. Do animals have the same rights to freedom as humans? Even if they are taking "advantage" of us?