Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is on your plate, the choice or selection, or preferences -- or ingredients -- almost any place you are eating, are the end result of movements of people and resources, the punch line of a story usually involving (at some point in history), deprivation, starvation, colonialism, slavery, greed, and warfare. No need for us to get all depressed about that.

The end result of the above -- at least (and only) as far as cuisine -- is more often than not, good. People eat what they eat for a reason. And they tend to cook well for a reason. That reason may no longer exist as a prime motivator -- but it's there if you care to go back and look.

Bourdain's most recent blog post is a good one. He defends some of their choices in terms of editing and country selection and reasserts his desire to keep politics out of the show as much as is practical. While I have a feeling he and I would disagree on some of the finer points of politics, he also seems like someone I wouldn't mind having a political conversation with. He's obviously open to civil discourse.

It's a good post and what motivated me to write about it is right at the beginning. It's not a new idea, but it's still the one that drives me to blog: what we eat (and how we eat) tells the story of who we are, both individually and culturally.

This, of course, is what keeps me up at night, as I study food to try to understand all aspects of all cultures, from the beginning of time.

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