I was recently directed to Rachel Laudan’s “A Plea For Culinary Modernism“, by my friend and fellow culinary arts student, feminismbot.  I was a history major long before I started thinking about cooking for a living, and the intersection of the two fields always makes my heart tingle with joy.

I definitely recommend this article for anyone interested in the politics of food.  Which should be everybody.

Laudan does an admirable job of dismantling the romantic illusions about old food-ways, many of which are currently base-belief among large sections of the population, particularly among those who consider themselves foodies.  She addresses the myth that our ancestors ate a more balanced/healthy diet, the overwhelming social power imbalances and oppressions that were fundamental to the pre-industrial food and agriculture industries, and several other points.

This is what a strictly local, plant based diet gets you.

This is what a strictly local, plant based diet gets you. A family in Carraroe, Ireland starves during the potato famine, 1845-1850.

I’m not going to go out and pick up a Big Mac anytime in the near future, and I still intend to buy locally produced food when practical, simply out of a desire to support local farmers, but the overwhelming message of her essay is something I can get behind, and something that I feel meshes well with the ethos of this blog:  frozen, canned, and preserved ingredients can be good, and good food should be available to everybody.

Coming soon: an actual food post!

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