American Flatbread – Flatbread Kitchen
Tuesday, December 28th, 2004
Tonight’s menu and baking are dedicated to
Transparent Food No. 2
In T.F. No. 1 (last night’s dedication), I wrote about the wholesale change of how food is farmed in America—a change that has primarily occurred since the end of World War II. It is a change that has taken the source of our food from a largely agrarian small farm society to one where the bulk of our food comes from what is more accurately thought of as an industrial agricultural process. This change has had enormous implications to how our food is grown and subsequently to its quality and characteristics. The industrialization of agriculture has degraded the fertility of our soils, poisoned our waterways, polluted our air, tainted our food stuffs with exotic complex chemicals whose biochemistry and effect on human health we only incompletely understand, led to the inhumane confinement of our animals, and has, perhaps more bitterly ironic of all, impoverished and disempowered farmers and their families.
The problem is not the choices farmers have and continue to make, the real cause of this change in the American food supply is…us. It is our values that are reflected in the kind of food we produce. For too long the overriding values have been cheapness and convenience with insufficient consideration given to the how and the where, and the when, and the why of our food supply. Our food—and the farms that produce it, are too important. Food shapes our well-being, and the well-being of the world. Thanks for coming.