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Editor: Chris Manganaro
How often do we gather our own food? Try
to think of a time where you did. Are you counting the time you went to the
supermarket? While we technically gather everything together in our cart, we
are not truly experiencing the gathering of old. Yes, we pick which specific
fruit we want, just like apple picking, but it is all in a controlled
environment. Just like with hunting, only those truly embracing the idea of
gathering are actually fully experiencing the feelings associated with it. It
is those who look for mushrooms, truffles, and the like, who are in fact
immersing themselves in the gathering culture.
Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma:
A Natural History of Four Meals, the author takes quite a bit of time to
elaborate on the many forms of food production and where it all comes from. He
even dedicates a chapter to gathering, though, mostly only for mushrooms. While
this is but a small portion of the book, it is still an interesting look at
something many do not likely consider when it comes to getting their food.
is a throwback to the days of old more than anything. Food now is rarely
gathered due to the high demand for it. Mostly only artisans and connoisseurs
really search out in this way anymore. People who actually appreciate this
simple exercise. It is not only good for the food but good for the soul. As
Pollan points out, there is a lot of meaning behind gathering for humans. We
are forced to figure out whether or not something is truly edible or may poison
us, something modern people rarely, if ever do. Gathering opens up a more
natural part of us. It forces us to be closer to our food and more
knowledgeable about it. It is an entirely different gathering experience than
at the supermarket.
Gathering is something that many
only ever do in video games. In real life, it is a thing more or less of the
past. Our attachment to the earth is much more tenuous and far reaching. the
food we eat and the earth it comes from are rarely ever seen by
Published in: Cooking