Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bringing it to the Table by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is a poet, essayist, farmer, and novelist. Berry has been writing about the "good life", which includes sustainable agriculture, appropriate technology, and healthy rural communities with a connection to place, for the last five decades. For over forty years he has lived and farmed, with his wife Tanya, in Kentucky. He is one of our state's treasures. The essays included in this book, some of them dating back to the 1970s and 1980s were dealing with conservation land practices and mindful eating long before the recent spate of books on those topics.

Berry has said "A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes." The book is divided into three parts: Part I--
Farming; Part II--Farmers; and Part III--Food. Michael Pollan has written the Introduction. If you've not read much of Berry, this book would be an excellent introduction, and it is essential reading for anyone who cares about what they eat.
Berry offers several suggestions for things we can do in order to eat responsibly:
  • Participate in food production to the extent that you can.
  • Prepare your own food.
  • Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home. That means whenever possible to deal directly with the local farmer, gardener, or orchardist.
  • Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production. What is added to the food that is not food, and what do you pay for these additions?
  • Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.
As Pollan says, the national conversation now unfolding around the subject of food and farming really began with the work of Wendell Berry.

1 comment:

Marie said...

thanks for reviewing this- it looks like a really interesting and informative- and important- work about food. I also appreciate your visiting my craft blog!! :-) Gotta do more crafts & update more often, I guess!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...