at a party tonight, (my sister's, if you want to know) we were talking about food and food being
my favourite one of my favourite subjects, i was having a grand old time. i mentioned how crazy it is that we who live in the western world, with an embarrassment of riches, seem to be the ones who eat badly. how crazy it is that we will pay money to learn to eat less! my friend, jenny suggested that in the places where poverty is known people will make more effort to make good food. i hadn't thought about it in those terms before and was momentarily bamboozled but of course she is right. if poverty is a daily companion there is no money to spend on frivolous pursuits so it would make sense that a necessity would also be used as a creative outlet, it would mean that if there is enough money to put good food on the table it will be treated with some reverence, it will be treated as a luxury or a privilege. no poor person is going to be producing show-offy dishes that cost a fortune, they are going to do a simple thing and do it as well as possible. broadening the argument a little, i have been known to get on a soapbox about the way people i listen to every day resent paying a fair price for their everyday essentials. they want cheap food, cheap petrol, cheap clothes and cheap utilities. they want these things to be cheap so they can have more money to spend on entertainment, travel, flash cars, bigger houses and expensive hair -dos. there is nothing wrong with wanting those things, i like them too but i think that as a society we tend to make mistakes with priorities. i think that one of the reasons we eat rubbishy food (and i am not going to pretend this is a simple issue) is because we lose sight of how fundamental our food is. familiarity has bred contempt. if more of us occasionally wondered where our next meal might come from we might have a whole new attitude. we might eat more seasonally, we might eat less, we might eat more vegetables and think of creative ways to reduce waste. we might eat more like the chinese or the greeks or the italians.