This week in class we seem to be talking more and more about where our food comes from and how it can connect back to individuals and cultures. Most of us don’t really think about where our steak or chicken comes from besides that it was bought at the grocery store. Nor do people, unless they actively practice religions; connect foods with other cultures and how that food source might be seen by others.
When I go grocery shopping rarely to I think about where the food came from unless it is vegetables, often in the summer I try and convince my family to go to the farmers market to support the local farmers. However, I have never really thought about where the meat that I eat comes from or how they are treated. To be honest I never really thought that it would matter; I mean it is just food. However, in the movie that we watched on Monday, called Fresh. It showed a chicken farmer getting their chickens delivered by the hundreds from a brand name company that pays the farmer on how much feed is used to grow the chickens and by how quickly they are grown. The company supplies the feed and chickens while the farmers provide the housing and other expensive equipment needed. I was shocked at the idea that these companies had such control over the farmers and their incomes, but I was even more shocked by the treatment of the animals. I do want to add that I have avoided watching the movie Food Inc. because I heard that it was very graphic and I just wasn’t ready to watch it, Fresh while it shows what is going on did not seem to be as graphic as the other movie. Anyway, back to the animals, they took the containers of chicks and just threw them onto the grounds with little regard to if the chickens were injured or not. I thought that this was shocking because I guess I was thinking I would hate to be treated that way. Also the animals seem more like objects rather than the important aspects of the enlivenment and food supplier that they are. It made me really want to be involved in buying free range chickens and organic food, or maybe even raise my own chickens.
The next idea that came to mind as we talked about finding out the history of our food is that of what foods have significance to different cultures. In the Native American culture corn was considered to be the Mother as it gave life to their culture. While the more modern culture of the United States does not hold that spiritual relationship with corn we do have that special relationship with it in that it allows us to celebrate that it is summer time. We gather together and celebrate the time of grilling out and summer fun. It is interesting to think about the many different types of foods that can hold spiritual significance and even just a more materialistic significance, but none the less food holds significance to people.