zondag 25 september 2011

To eat untamed


In his 1991 book 'The Island Within' Richard K. Nelson writes about his live as a writer trying to live as a subsistence hunter on the Alaskan coast, trying to practise what he learned from the Inuit and Athapaskan people he lived with. At one point he describes the suspicions against wild food that almost everybody raised on supermarket food feels:  
Because he's grown up eating wild foods, Ethan regards them as normal and ordinary. But I remember feeling quite differently when I went to live with Eskimo people. It seemed strange to eat meat and fish and plants that had no connection with a tamed landscape, that came unpackaged, without being factory purified and processed and preserved, without even a symbolic distance from the outdoor realities of dirt and insect feet. Looking back, it was as if wildness was a form of pollution. Plants and animals used as food should be tended, cultivated, manicured, machined, transported, sterilized, boxed, displayed, priced, and purchased - removing all taint of open field and unfettered wind. But now I'd rather have food that comes from the wood and the waters, washed by the ocean and the rain, blown by the winds, and crawled across by bugs whose feet are probably cleaner than my own.        

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