As the Sociology of Food class moves along I see a few different aspects I’d like to talk about. This week, these two have been floating through my head. This is the best way I know to organize my thoughts, so here goes.
I literally changed majors from business to sociology just so I can get away from economics, politics and the capitalist ideals and here we are discussing them again. I have a hard time understanding the point of all of it, and to be honest I feel like sometimes I check out. I have this ultimate wish that everything could be separated, that of all things the economy didn’t decide how or with what my food is made of. I think it’s repulsive that a few people, the 1%, dictate something as important as the nourishment in my body. But that’s obviously on the most general level
My brother attended the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor Maine for this undergraduate. There, they studied horticulture and the whole idea of sustainable living, locavore culture and what that entails. As he returned home for breaks, he would share with us what he’s learned in the past. Now, I can’t say we are fully sustainable and do all things organically right, but my family has been making a conscious effort to buy local, organic foods. We’ve been trying many new things like quinoa, buying our groceries from the local market, eating at home more, and making more of an effort to make our own delicious, natural and healthy foods. My other brothers are both chefs, and have shared what they have learned about cooking meals with my father as well. All in all, at home we try our best not to eat processed foods that come from a factory, but rather build our own fresh meals.
After reading the chapter in Pollan’s, Omnivore’s Dilemma, about Joel Salatin’s farm in the Shenandoah Valley, I decided to do a little more investigation on exactly what happens at the farm. I went to their website and did some snooping around and found exactly what was mentioned in the book. It lays out the processes by which they use for all of their animals from cows to chickens and from pigs to rabbits. I am in love with the quote that is stated on the website in their mission statement: “We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture.” I enjoy this quote best because it really utilizes their theory of a symbiotic relationship. Every part of their farm relies on something else so that it can survive. A fundamental, sociological ideology that matches would be functionalism. Every part has its duty, and at the end of the day each person survives because of another. It’s a beautiful thing, and becomes even better when it happens naturally. I recently went to the doctor and while I was being checked out he was asking me questions about school and what I was learning. I shared about my sociology of food class, what we’re learning and the book we’re reading. He automatically reacted with an “I’ve read that book.” He’s actually traveled to the Salatin farm to see how they farm. Since then, they’ve started applying what they learned to their very own acreage and now have meat chickens, egg chickens and their own sustainable garden. It was thoroughly inspiring that one farm, Polyface Farm, could make such an impact. I am excited to hear more about the locavore movement and how it is become a social phenomenon.