On Being a Cultivore

This blog is not about choosing organic. Or eating locally. Or even about eating healthy. (Have you tried your local bacon?!?!?!) Although I am not numb to those side benefits.

Rather, I visit farmers’ markets because I am a cultivore.

I am curious about what I consume. I savor the learning process, just as much as the meal. Because I feel it is impolite to eat strangers.

For every ingredient, I need to know what is its ancestry? Where and how did it grow up? Was it stressed or indulged? (Each has its pluses.) How was it butchered, processed, stored? How do people prepare it, now and in times past? What nutrients does it offer?

And how does this unique history and biology affect its Taste?

With all this curiosity, food from a box, a stubbornly quiet and uniform box, can be quite a let down. It is as if the original food has been orphaned, separated from its own biology, dehydrated and mashed out of recognition. (Did you know Cheerios don’t grow on trees?) I am not against processing. I love to cook, after all. (Processing food may even be what makes us human.) It’s just, well…

It seems impolite to eat strangers.

I am open, friendly and flirtatious with food. I expect reciprocity if the two of us are to commit the ultimate intimate act.

Unfortunately, much of the food industry likes keeping secrets. They want me to believe, all those cans of tomato soup are not only identical, they have nothing to do with dirt. (They sprout on grocery shelves.) Or maybe copywriters just can’t explain ‘thiamine mononitrate’ in the space allotted on a label…

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