The collaboration of household and farm was never, in America, sufficiently thrifty or sufficiently careful of soil fertility. It is tempting to suppose that, given certain critical historical and cultural differences, they might have developed sufficient thrift and care. As it happened, however, the development went in opposite direction. The collaborators purified their roles — the household became simply a house or residence, purely consumptive in its function; the farm ceased to be a place to live and a way of life and became a unit of production — and their once collaborative relationship became competitive. Between them the merchant, who had been only a supplier or raw materials, began to usurp the previous functions of both household and farm, becoming increasingly both a processor and producer. And so an enterprise that once had some susceptibility to qualitative standards — standards of personal taste and preference at one end and of good husbandry at the other — has come more and more under the influence of standards that are merely economic or quantitative. The consumer wants food to be cheap as possible. The producer wants it to be as expensive as possible. And so the standards of cheapness and convenience, which are irresistibly simplifying and therefore inevitably exploitive, have been substituted for the standard of health (of both people and land), which would enforce considerations of essential complexities.
Social fashion, delusion, and propaganda have combined to persuade the public that our agriculture is for the best of reasons the envy of the Modern World."
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture, page 32
The exploitative always involves the abuse or the perversion of nurture and ultimately its destruction. Thus, we say how far the exploitive revolution had penetrated the official character when our recent secretary of agriculture remarked that “Food is a weapon.” This was given a fearful symmetry indeed when, in discussing the possible use of nuclear weapons, a secretary of defense spoke of the “palatable” levels of devastation. Consider the assocations that have since ancient times clustered around the idea of food — associations of mutual care, generosity, neighborliness, festivity, communal joy, religious ceremony — and you will see that these two secretaries represent a cultural catastrophe. The concerns of farming and those of war, once thought to have been diametrically opposed, have been made vicious, not presumably by nature or circumstance, but by their values.
Food is not a weapon. To use it as such — to foster a mentality willing to use it as such — is to prepare, in the human character and community, the destruction of the sources of food. The first casualties of the exploitive revolution are character and community. When those fundamental integrities are devalued and broken, then perhaps it is inevitable that food will be looked upon as a weapon, just as it is inevitable that the earth will be looked upon as fuel and people as numbers or machines. But character and community — that is, culture in the broadest, richest, sense — constitute, just as nature, the source of food. Neither nature nor people alone can produce human sustenance, but only the two together, culturally wedded."
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture, pages 8-9
The perfect man for so many tumblrites.
2868. Steven Yeun on Conan. Forever alone…?
Learn how to cook spaghetti…never be alone…
At 120 degrees, it was so hot in Australia that Koalas were asking people for water, something that’s never been seen before.
One Koala entered someone’s house, looking for water and shade, and here’s what happened when the owner gave him something to drink.
why I just read the Wikipedia page on possessive determiners…
To be great at your job, you have to embrace the grind. By ‘grind’ I mean a combination of work ethic and improvised strategy that becomes a daily ritual, and ensures progression or improvement over time, regardless of an individual day or even week’s outcome. - Joey Roth
sassy giraffe be like aw hell no
Arch your back…
Pete Wells, New York Times Restaurant Critic Responds to Readers’ Questions
Q. Do you think we in America have taken the food culture too far where we care and think too much about eating and making really great and unique food? I have read some critiques making this point and was wondering your thoughts.
— Dan, Washington, D.C.
A. I’ve read a few of those criticisms, too, and I have found them as puzzling as their authors seem to find food culture. They tend to start well, because they’re mocking the excesses of people who take food too seriously. It’s easy to mock people who take anything too seriously. That’s why mockery was invented. But when the mockery ends, the pieces I’ve read eventually grow indignant at the very idea that people care about something as insignificant as pleasure. Pleasure is only insignificant if you’re not having any, and I have started to suspect that the people who write these critiques are just upset because everybody else is having too much fun. And then I start to feel sorry for them, and want to send them a dozen cookies from Beurre & Sel in the Essex Street Market. But then I decide that cookies would be wasted on people who don’t know how to have a good time.