Today I wanted to talk about what food is. Food is the stuff we eat, right? But just because we CAN physically eat something, does that make it food? We don’t chomp on tree trunks, even though we probably could.
Some people eat tree bark, bugs, whale fat, pigs’ feet. This might seem a bit odd to some, but these are foods that are staples in some cultures (not to mention – full of nutrients!)
Others eat hard candy, twinkies, soda, and ultra-processed meats. These are pretty common in Standard American culture, but totally unheard of in some parts of the world. But what exactly is it about these products that make us accept them as edible?
To me, food is digestible earth or earth product, like plants and animals. I’d argue that 99% of the food humans eat comes from the earth, while the other 1% comes from a lab (but yes, even the lab was produced because the earth made it possible).
The specific food one person eats is determined by their connection to the outside world, other people and history. Shared commonalities impact the choices people make about what they swallow. Therefore, genetically modified corn, those twinkies and candy, and pink-sludge meat can all be considered food. It may not be a “quality” food in some corners of the world, but it is ingested by communities, often joyously.
What is food to you? Do you eat anything that might seem weird to others?
What are your thoughts about how food has evolved in our modern world?
That’s all for now!
In Soil We Trust,