Jul 5, 2012

You Guys are Smelling yet Sweet


Source: wing seed

Carolyn Steel clearly explains the relationship between food and city and the problematic reality.
And this is the kind of city that's devoid of smell, devoid of mess, certainly devoid of people, because nobody would have dreamed of walking in such a landscape. In fact, what they did to get food was they got in their cars, drove to a box somewhere on the outskirts, came back with a week's worth of shopping, and wondered what on earth to do with it. And this really is the moment when our relationship, both with food and cities, changes completely.

Here we have food -- that used to be the center, the social core of the city -- at the periphery. It used to be a social event, buying and selling food. Now it's anonymous. We used to cook; now we just add water, or a little bit of an egg if you're making a cake or something. We don't smell food to see if it's okay to eat. We just read the back of a label on a packet. And we don't value food. We don't trust it. So instead of trusting it, we fear it. And instead of valuing it, we throw it away.
While I learned so many things from the farming days, what I loved most was smell. Each vegetable had quite distinctive smell. I remember I couldn’t help but take a bite of and finish a couple of cucumbers one day while I was picking them with hunger, because they were just appealing and irresistible. Then, I posted the story and my customers did the same.

I’m going to do research on horticultural local food systems in this semester, and make it a springboard for the future. I want to help to rebuild the fabric of communities, reinvent food exchange as social event, and reclaim relationships both with food and people by delivering their smell. Because I believe it it a good thing.

Carolyn Steel: How food shapes our cities

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