In Brooklyn, Lettuce, Not Steel, Scrapes the Sky - Food - The Atlantic.
At 20 years old, when I was a very susceptible young thinker, I read Wendell Berry's essay "The Pleasures of Eating." To this day, it remains the most powerful essay I've ever read about food.
Beginning with the simple assertion that "Eating is an agricultural act," Berry deftly unfolds the tragedy of the modern American food system, then lays out a short charter of actions for the ecological eater. He ties our good health to food sovereignty: the ability to grow our own food, or at least understand where it comes from. He links food quality to healthy soil, healthy soil to good farming, and better farming stewardship to the sustainability of our watersheds, our country, and the planet. To eat well is as simple as maintaining a healthy curiosity about the connection between dirt and dinner.
The essay concludes with a list of common-sense ways an eater can do this. He asks that we cook for ourselves, try to grow our own food, make friends with farmers, and investigate the stories of our favorite plants. I can remember exactly what I did next when I finished the article: everything, precisely as he suggested. READ MORE ...