American Flatbread – Flatbread Kitchen
Monday, December 27th, 2004
Tonight’s menu and baking are dedicated to
Transparent Food No. 1
Think of a farm and what comes to mind? A farm family of husband, wife, some kids. Maybe Grandma or Grandpa lives there, too; a house, a barn, and in the barnyard the milking cows, and nearby a dozen pigs or so and a flock of chickens for both eggs and stew; and out back the pastures where the cattle graze during mild weather both day and night only coming into the barn for milking and to escape cold weather during winter; up on the hill there may be an apple orchard and beyond the orchard the woodlot which supplies building and heating wood; and not too far from the kitchen door a big garden that supplies the family with fresh vegetables in season, the extra being canned for the winter and spring; there is probably a clear brook and several hay fields. There is always something to do on such a farm, and it is worth doing.
Fifty years ago such farms were quite common in this part of the world. And the food they produced was, almost universally, of very good quality—a fact which was, to a great extent, undervalued. Most of the food we eat today, however, does not come from small, diverse, family farms—yet our collective memory holds on to this romantic notion of farms and farming—we have this idea that our food largely still comes from such places. But it simply is not true.
Today our food supply is dominated by a kind of industrial agricultural ethos that has subplanted family values with corporate values; the work of making a life has given way to the work of making wealth. And with this change our food—and what’s in it, has become more hidden. Thanks for coming tonight.