Food and Fiction

I’ve been wanting to write more about food on this here blog. Mostly this is because I love eating; it’s something I do practically every day! But I guess I hesitated to write about food, simply because I didn’t feel any inspiration… until I read this book!

Highly recommended reading.

A dear friend recently gifted me The Hunger Games. I’m not sure how many of you are big readers out there, but presumably if you can find the time to read this blog, then you can spend a straight day and a half (as I did) enveloping this book. Not only is it a compelling read, but it deals with some pretty socially-relevant themes, one of the most potent being its treatment of how the rich and the poor relate to food.

This book provides a troubling and powerful description of near starvation and the continuous struggle to procure food. It also contrasts this brilliantly with the decadent and hedonistic way in which food is used (and wasted) by the privileged few. It made me feel like I should be doing way more to produce my own food, and also way less in the way of wasting the food that I buy. And so, that’s what I’m gonna do!

Whether to end in success or shame, I’m gonna make an effort to waste less and appreciate more the food that I have. I haven’t yet gotten into gardening (mainly because I can barely keep house plants alive) but I hope someday soon to follow my the example of my green-thumbed friends and plant some veggies in the back yard.

Maybe future plants of mine won't have to suffer the same fate as these poor house plants.

The Hunger Games might be a fictional story, but it’s inspired me to seriously consider the trajectory of my food choices. I honestly feel that this kind of storytelling is one of the best ways to communicate ideas that can change people’s lives. And besides, without fiction I could never be a shooting star who receives mail from an owl and hangs out with an armoured bear.

3 thoughts on “Food and Fiction

  1. I get really hung up on the idea that raising your own food is a really down-to-earth and ecologically responsible thing to do in theory, but in practice I think I must be doing it wrong because it costs more and seems to be really inefficient. My attempts at raising chickens and growing a garden has me driving around getting the chicken coop repair supplies/sheep manure compost/organic slug bait/(insert unanticipated food raising need here) and ending up investing way more money, fossil fuel and energy per food unit produced than I would have if I just bought whatever it is I’m raising at the store or farmers market.
    People get the false impression that because I have laying chickens and a sometimes passable garden in the country, some kind of food crisis wouldn’t hit us so hard. The sad truth is, if trucks stopped delivering food and the gas stations dried up, we’d have more starving mouths at my house… or rather, two mouths and a bunch of starving beaks and muzzles.

  2. Shauna, I love and respect how almost every single thing I think I “should” be doing, you actually do! It’s not even one of those sibling rivalry or jealousy things (of which there are very few to begin with). I just genuinely love and appreciate how friggin’ superstar you are.

    But, point well taken. And I’m glad it’s coming from someone who actually takes the time to raise their own chickens, and grow their own veggies and such. I think you’re right, that it’s not necessarily better for everyone to grow their own food – but maybe just more people could be doing it than those that are currently. I’d be really interested to know more about how many people in HRM, Nova Scotia, the Maritimes, Canada, the WORLD, grow their own food.

    This is why I put my emphasis on waste. It’s something I’m sure we all struggle with, when food becomes less appetizing, and just sits there like a dreaded chore we’re supposed to be doing. It’s because we’ve got better options, know what I mean? Rather than try to whip something together with less-than-appealing options, I can just go down the street and buy something else. Or better yet, go out to a restaurant. So how to get that motivation to stop letting food waste away in the fridge? Best I’ve got yet is read the Hunger Games. But I’m sure there are lots of other ways to light that fire under the ol’ buttocks.

    • I think what we need is more cooperative approaches – there is an economy of scale in food production, and working together with my neighbours and friends to share the work might negate my previous comments. Thats why I love community gardens and CSAs so much. Its best of both worlds.

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