Food Matters

Apr 26, 2010 by Hiromi Ogawa

I don't mean to, but lately everything I read or see seems to be about food.  Nothing wrong with that, I've been obsessed with food and always have an appetite no matter what time of day. And lately my all-consuming hobby of cooking and eating and everything food-related has taken on a tangential interest in how we grow, process, and package our food.  I vaguely recall this interest gaining traction when, four years ago, Lynn and I were pregnant at the same time.  We would talk about toxins passed on to our babies, and later we had long discussions about BPA in plastic baby bottles (among other things).

These days I've been reading  Food Matters by  Mark Bittman.  I put it on my Amazon wish list after trying repeatedly to check it out of the library, only to return it two weeks later with hardly any progress.  I can only find time to read before bed, and beside my bed I always have more books than I can possibly read in a year.  As with food, my eyes are bigger than my "stomach" (time, or time management skills).  My sister finally bought if for me last Christmas.

This book has kept me up too late some nights, both from reading and thinking.  I wouldn't do it justice to summarize it here; if you are interested in learning about where your food comes from, and what you can do to change how food is made, what effects it has on your body and your surroundings, I would encourage you to read it.  It follows a long chain of eye-opening documentaries and books that I've encountered,  the list of which includes Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, the movies Supersize Me and Food Inc.

Some friends and we made pizzas in David's kiln last weekend and it was enjoyable on so many levels: preparing the dough a day in advance, washing and prepping, carmelizing the onions, cooking down the tomato sauce, combining ingredients that others have brought, throwing the pizza into the kiln, watching it come out with blackened edges and melted cheese, cutting, serving, eating, talking, drinking...  And part of the joy was in trusting the authenticity and purity of each ingredient and each process as the pizza went from pieces to pie.  It was satisfying on many levels.

Topics: Food, Life

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