At the end of the essay, Berry juxtaposes the emptiness of industrial eating with what he calls “extensive pleasure.” This is the pleasure that is not wedded to the sensual, tactile, or gustatory—what Berry terms the pleasure of the “mere gourmet”—but emerges from “one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes.” The pleasure of eating for Berry is not intrinsic to the experience of eating, but extrinsic to it, deriving instead from the knowledge of the food’s journey from life to plate. Which is to say that, he is not, in fact, talking about the pleasure of eating in any sort of conventional, literal, or phenomenological sense. Rather what we have here is a repackaging of the pleasure of work: you can only take real satisfaction from the memory of the labor and care you invested in whatever it is you are munching on. This becomes all the more apparent when we read Berry’s program for how the “industrial eater” can obtain extensive pleasure, which Berry dubiously asserts “is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.” Want pleasure? Get to work! Berry’s suggestions are a familiar list of foodie chores: 1) “Participate in food production to the extent that you can.” 2) “Prepare your own food.” 3) “Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home.” 4) “Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist.” 5) “Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production.” 6) “Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.” 7) “Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience if possible, of the life histories of the food species.”
Read all of "Sexuality Studies for Foodies" by Gabriel Rosenberg at The Strong Paw of Reason.