Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Omnivore's Dilemma book discussion - Section III (chapters 15 -17)

Omnivore's DilemmaLike 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?


Lamzeydievey said...

I would love to learn how to forage for food and to identify edible plants in my area. Can anyone suggest some good books that go in depth on this topic, maybe with picture listings of plants and what they're good for?

Isle Dance said...

Now I'm wishing I were actually reading this book! My moral dilemmas about seeking/raising, killing/butchering and eating animals has always troubled me. However, until recently, its link to ((all)) cruelty did not "click." When we, as beings, learn healthier, we can choose healthier. It's living simply to the extreme. And isn't that the natural high many are really trying to achieve anyway?

Michelle said...

Dear Crunchy,

The Bloggers for Positive Global Change Award is awarded to bloggers who help build awareness and create a more sustainable future.

One of my choices for the Bloggers for Positive Global Change Award is Crunchy Chicken. You may read the post about the award here:

Anonymous said...

"Meat purchased from the supermarket is completely devoid of any semblance of the animal it came from"

And also meat is the only product without a picture of photograph of the source on the package. Have you ever seen a strawberry product without about a dozen strawberries on the box? But meat products will have only a cartoon-like image, assuming they have anything at all.

Now that's odd, but not so odd when you consider that children are involved in the buying process, and we can't have the kiddies thinking about where their bacon comes from, can we?