Tag Archives: Renewing America’s Food Traditions

Renewing America’s Food Traditions

This book is devoted to some of the little things that make life really magical: the distinctive foods of the USA.  Im talking about foodstuffs, the actual ingredients that come from nature, which invariably astound in all their distinctive colors and permutations.  Every single food in the book could spin into a rewarding career for an assiduous ‘foodie’.  {Speaking of ‘foodie’, this term generally condescends of late.  Im assuming it comes from an anti-elitist standpoint, and thats understandable, but the grief that seems to accompany it is a little sad. }  Osage Red Flint Corn, California Mission Olives, Pre-Civil War Peanuts, Ossabaw Island Hogs… each of these foods are both ‘new’ and old.  There are hundreds in this book, and each one has the potential to re-invigorate local ecosystems and economies.  Refreshingly, there is no distinction drawn between native and non-native food traditions.  One of the beans originally comes from Russia, and the California Mission Olive came here with the Spaniards.  If its a food that has made its home here, it is regarded as part of our ‘Food Tradition’.  As a lens through which to view our history and possible future, this work is unsurpassed.  Expect to be overcome with a mild sylvan optimism while slowly working your way through this book.  Gary Paul Nabhan has been editing and compiling this kind of information for years.  For those who think the times ahead will be dim, stewarding one or two of these plants/animals may be the just the thing.  Truly an impressive work.  Renewing America’s Food Traditions – Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods (2008).  p.s.  it seems that all of the websites for these kind of vanguard groups are shabby and under-developed.  The tech girls/guys could really help the scene out by lending a hand. 

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