I would love to be a foodie. In fact, it’s a part of a fantasy life I’ve always dreamed of: living in Los Angeles, eating at quirky, out-of-the-way restaurants, creating new recipes from just an idea, getting paid to write about exotic foods I would never have eaten otherwise… There are people living this glamorous life right now! I would be able to talk about food, where it comes from, how we are so intimately linked with the things we eat. It’s a dream!
There is one problem with this life I imagine, though. When it comes to educating the public about food – working off of food literacy teachings, like my friends at FoodShare Toronto – foodies are cutting themselves off. They are not helping – they are part of the problem. Foodies are doing the opposite of what they should be doing. Instead of educating the public through their writings, they are making food exclusive.
I made bread this week. It wasn’t from scratch, it wasn’t my own recipe, it wasn’t innovative in the slightest. I bough pre-mixed bread batter (the kind where all you have to add is the liquid and you’re good to go) and threw it in the oven. I’ll write more about it on Saturday, but what’s important here is that I made bread. Sure, some foodies may criticize my method and say that I’m only really baking bread if I make it from scratch, but that doesn’t matter. Just by mixing it all together and pouring it into a pan, I became one step closer to connecting with my food – and that’s what matters.
Any person who cooks their own food, whether it’s from scratch or by using a pre-made starter, has already increased their food literacy. They know the last step of how their food got to their table. They are connected to what they’re eating – one can only hope this will lead to learning more about the steps leading up to the kitchen.
Foodies do the opposite. They thrive on making food exclusive, but not in the right way. Foodies should be teaching their readers about where their food comes from – it doesn’t matter if it’s mac and cheese from a food truck or eating all parts of a grouse in an underground restaurant. Foodies should be using their audience as a way to connect people to their food. Making food from a pre-mixed recipe is just as good as making up a recipe on your own, and foodies need to see that. From there, that’s how we educate people and increase food literacy. That’s how we make food education accessible.
Touch The Earth,
Emma — The Suburban Aggie