What was food, before it was an industry? Before it had moguls and heroes and villains? What was food before we deified and demonized it? Before we counted the calories and gussied it up beneath flashbulbs, and didn’t eat it?
Where was food before it was a place in the mall or a box in a cabinet or a page in a magazine? Back when you had to dig it from the earth or look it in the eyes. Back when you had to wrestle its life away. See unequivocally how badly it wanted what you were taking from it, but taking it anyway because you needed it and you were luckier than it was and you wanted it more. Feeding that life to yourself and thanking your empty sky and your cold night for your luck and your superior wanting.
When did we start this Tigerbeat infatuation with food? This frenzied, substance-less wanting? When did we fall out of real love with it? Patient love, like old marriage, stirring at the counter with the same spoon your mother used to use. Passed down like a recipe or a memory. Back when we put time into it, and expected it to take time. When it was a member of the family, before microwave ovens and heat lamps. Before extruders and conveyor belts.
How will we teach these new mouths to feed themselves? Teach people to cook food that isn’t made for a michelin star or an instagram photo. Food for after school. Food to talk over. How will we pass this skill down to moms and dads before the simple, vital art of cooking boils down to a trade and then an outdated hobby and finally a machine operation. Gone the way of cobbling and smithing.
Who is responsible for the realities of this new food culture? Who is responsible for saving it?
Why would it be anyone but us?