“Only a farmer could delve so deeply into the origins of food, and only a writer of Wendell Berry’s caliber could convey it with such conviction and eloquence. Long before Whole Foods organic produce was available at your local supermarket, Berry was farming with the purity of food in mind. For the last five decades, Berry has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing. In recognition of that influence, Michael Pollan here offers an introduction to this wonderful collection.
Drawn from over thirty years of work, this collection joins bestsellers The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Pollan, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, as essential reading for anyone who cares about what they eat. The essays address such concerns as: How does organic measure up against locally grown? What are the differences between small and large farms, and how does that affect what you put on your dinner table? What can you do to support sustainable agriculture?
A progenitor of the Slow Food movement, Wendell Berry reminds us all to take the time to understand the basics of what we ingest. “Eating is an agriculture act,” he writes. Indeed, we are all players in the food economy.” — Book promo @ goodreads.com
If the people in our state and national governments undertook to evaluate economic enterprises by the standards of long-term economics, they would have to employ their minds in actual thinking. For many of them, this would be a shattering experience, something altogether new, but it would also cause them to learn things and do things that would improve the lives of their constituents.
A third weakness is the absolute dependence of most of the population on industrial agriculture—and the lack of any “backup system.” We have an unprecedentedly large urban population that has no land to grow food on, no knowledge of how to grow it, and less and less knowledge of what to do with it after it is grown. That this population can continue to eat through shortage, strike, embargo, riot, depression, war—or any of the other large-scale afflictions that societies have always been heir to and that industrial societies are uniquely vulnerable to—is not a certainty or even a faith; it is a superstition.
And so energy is not just fuel. It is a powerful social and cultural influence. The kind and quantity of the energy we use determine the kind and quality of the life we live. Our conversion to fossil fuel energy subjected society to a sort of technological determinism, shifting population and values according to the new patterns and values of industrialization. Rural wealth and materials and rural people were caught within the gravitational field of the industrial economy and flowed to the cities, from which comparatively little flowed back in return. And so the human life of farmsteads and rural communities dwindled everywhere, and in some places perished.
The most important possession of a country is its population. If this is maintained in health and vigour everything else will follow; if this is allowed to decline nothing, not even great riches, can save the country from eventual ruin. — An Agricultural Testament by Sir Albert Howard
There is no White no Christmas here. What this part of Arizona must be satisfied with is a storm that came a couple days ago and left 0.71″ of rain plus a lot of mud. All of the southern part of the state got hit by the storm with Tucson setting a new record for 22 December getting over an 1″ with Sierra Vista getting only slightly less. A lot of flood warnings everywhere.
I walked up the street about 100 yards yesterday and bought a Christmas present for myself – tamales. It is not the same as a tamalada but I will have one of them for my ‘linner’ today.