I’ve been thinking about the title of this website and blog. And moreover, the explanation that I have on the first page of the site, entitled ‘The Beginning’. Hardly. So I’m contemplating a subtitle that more accurately describes all the pieces that have come together here. All the branches and limbs that have sprouted from the original idea. Which was?
I started a consulting business, helping people who are stressed about daily cooking and as soon as I started the work, it became clear that entwined with, underneath any cooking “issues” – or non-issues – everyone has a Food Life Story. We have been fed and have eaten all our lives and the story of that journey is unique & fascinating. So I began interviewing people about their Food Life Stories, thinking to write a book.
That’s the main branch. Then it forked. One limb led me to examining my own FLS and the Eating Art Work drawings were/are smaller branches, still growing from that limb.
The other limb was research, initially driven by the patterns I found in some of the interviewee’s FLSs. If you were born & raised any time after 1945, post WWII, regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic class or geographic location, with very few exceptions, there was a mammoth cultural influence in play: the hungry-for-profits food industry.
I began reading about the shift from small shops (bakery, butcher, greengrocer, etc) to supermarkets, about the political shenanigans involved in promoting the industry (that goes back to FDR & WWII), about the all-out marketing effort to convince homemakers (women) that they wanted & needed processed “convenience foods”, about the manipulation and undermining of the home economics curriculum in public schools… all startling and relevant insights into how we became the Fast Food Nation. I read biographies of cooks and chefs. It was fascinating and one thing led to another.
But when I read Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss, Cooked by Michael Pollan and Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner, pieces began to fall into place and things got darker. That’s where I am today, day two of NaBloPoMo.