Gardening, bro. Hmm, why does that seem ironic? This is a glimpse into the masculine ideal that we are collectively entrenched in. In that conception of being a man, bro, gangster, boss, or whatever one calls it, tenderly caring for the Earth doesn’t contribute to one’s social status. Getting your macros, obvi, but ensuring that those calories were harvested in an environmentally conscious way? Scoff. Flex.
In the past: humans maximized the caloric output of the land which temporarily produced surpluses but became a slipping phenomenon of diminishing returns and a steady loss of soil health. Even today, we continue to beat this path with more mechanization and inputs in the belief that this is the only way to “feed the world”. Continue reading “Food Futures”
Tonight, I had the honor of attending a Slow Food Miami gathering where I was able to explore the organization and meet locals interested in the local food environment. It was hosted by prominent local chef Allen Susser who presented a simple home-grown vegetable and dip buffet with various dishes appearing throughout the night. There was even basil pineapple ice cream, though a part of me longed for the good old days of mint chocolate chip. I met several interesting people involved in the local growing scene, including the Worm Whisperer (whom we have not seen the last of on this journey) and Gabe of Seasons Farm Fresh, a distributer of local and Latin American fruit. Both shared their own perspective and insights into the local Miami food system, which I’ll share in future blog posts. Continue reading “Slow Food Miami”
I’ve been lost as to what to post here. The momentum of this blog has been fermented food: tempeh, kraut, nut cheese. However, I’ve come to an increasingly firm belief that I have some sort of intolerance to fermented and aged foods. The histamine triggers a range of symptoms that agitate my physical being. Perhaps it’s my overemphasis of fermented foods that have led to this maladaption. Also, it gives me pause as I reflect on all the diet gurus on the Internet that claim dogmatically to have the answer. For example, I became briefly obsessed with Matthew Kenney, a celebrity raw vegan chef. In raw veganism, the food is never heated above 104-120˚F. Continue reading “Resetting”
Dear Poetry Professor,
When you cut me off today and tried to skip my turn to share my poetic art piece, it fucking hurt. You perceived a slight from reactive pride, and in trying to protect yourself overreached and slighted me. “Of course you brought a stick,” yes, indeed, and you couldn’t appreciate the beauty and significance of a simple stick, yet you were like an overeager mother fawning over the other students’ cardboard art projects. You realize these are just artificially reconstituted versions of the stick I brought in? Continue reading “Hear the Kale King Roar!”
After a long drive through the endless industrial warehouses, outlet malls, and grassy swamplands, our small UMiami field trip crew arrived at our destination: ECHO demonstration farm in Fort Myers, Florida. According to its site, “ECHO is an information hub for development practitioners around the world. We gather solutions from around the world that are solving hunger problems and disseminate them to our active network. Continue reading “ECHO Farm Field Trip”
After this homework assignment, I’m leaning pro-GMO. We need to differentiate between GMO and Monsanto, rather than heap our fear and loathing on a believed-to-be potentially carcinogenic (not proven) technique which, in reality, is not solely controlled by agribusiness. Millions of potential cases of starvation and malnutrition have been prevented with new crops such as the “Golden Banana” or flood-resistant rice. In these instances, human ingenuity and manipulation are creating rejuvenating relationships between people and the Earth. Celebi is happy.
I am frustrated by the lack of nutritious, non-destructive foods in our pantry on the farm. There is a contingency that negatively affects the environment and/or ourselves in each product we have stored away from the grocery store, while we peer over fields of naturally occurring nutritious abundance.
We like to think of ourselves as humble (or omnipotent) stewards of the Earth. We like to believe that we are the most powerful force in nature. That plants grow because we will them to. In fact, our will contributes significantly to our ability to produce huge amounts of staple foods, animal products, and even organic vegetables. Our mighty plow churns through the soil, our hands wrangle the uninvited weeds, and lo and behold, the seeds we painstakingly nurture in plastic houses set root and flourish in our fields.
Ever since I began dabbling in vegetarianism my freshman year of college, I’ve received a lot of bewildered, intrigued, and defensive responses. Fluctuating between omnivorism, vegetarianism, and veganism, I’ve been a proponent of each group. Through the idealism and dogma bound up in each phase, I’ve come to believe that only honesty and critical self and societal reflection can bring any progress to this hotly contended, gridlocked debate.