© 2014 Lynsey

Food

It’s probably because I’m finally paying attention, or, maybe merely noticed, but it seems to me that food has become a lot more politicised recently. As the gap between the ‘haves and have-nots’ has become something of a canyon there seems to be far more tension around food.

It’s food, people. Nothing more.

Of course that’s never the case, because it is one of the three essentials, and it’s so very intimately tied up with everything that we do.

Decadently, Wellington seems to be a complete frenzy of food decisions made on the basis of politics, rather than core survival. Catering for functions has become a challenge – every other dish needs to be gluten free, dairy free, animal free, nut free, palm oil free … the list goes on. These are not just to accommodate people with legitimate allergies, but because people are choosing to eat/not eat certain products for personal reasons.

The whole position is more complicated because pre-prepared food has become more complex. The days of simple products like jam – fruit pulp, sugar, and water (perhaps with a little pectin to help it set) appear to be over. The food on our tables has become over-produced, more akin to a lab production process instead of the simple food our grandparents would recognise.

Suddenly I need not only my glasses, but a magnifying glass, in the supermarket to read the ingredients in the products we buy. Surely it’s just food? On reading the labels a few days ago I was surprised to find wine “may contain traces of milk, fish, or eggs”. Milk? Fish? Eggs? In wine? Yes – proteins are used for fining – clarifying – some wines. Some wine? Almost every bottle I looked at had the warning on the label.

I’m not exempt from this food as politics decision making. I will not eat whitebait. It offends me that it is acceptable in New Zealand to eat endangered species. I guess people think they’re just fish, right? And, therefore, who cares? If they were dolphins we’d have the Japanese down here protesting in a flash.

Manifesto
06. Every day you make choices.
16. Every day looking at the order of things gives you power.
29. Every day eat, drink, rest, work, exercise, play, love, create for your own good. And the good of others.

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