How Did America Lose Its Connection With Food?
It’s been established that as a society and a culture the Americans need to reconnect with our food source. There aren’t many that currently grow or ever grew any of their own food.
Until the past 100 or so years, growing food was a task that nearly all Americans took part in. Whether they were growing some of their own or helping others in their community. It’s just the way it was.
In the times which we currently live, we have become mired with other daily activities that have taken priority over growing food that we have no sense of connection with our food.
It’s something that we have come to take for granted and expect it to just be there. We have gone from being so involved with the production of it to being left completely in the dark.
People are starting to change and inquiring more about their food, where it is coming from and what’s happening to it before it gets to our plates.
Before asking where it came from, I think we should ask when did this change? How did this change?
While there are many events that have lead us to where we are today in terms of food, here are four things/events that stand out the most in my mind:
The World Wars
After the first World War, pesticides and chemicals started to be used heavily on produce crops. The reason for using them was that they were supposed to protect the crops from bugs and insects, thus producing a higher yield.
This made the traditional farming methods nearly obsolete. Despite the fact that they were used for thousands of years, methods such as crop rotation and using animals to fertilize the land were deemed archaic and couldn’t produce the amount that this new method could.
The use of pesticides and sprays led to the mass farming practices that are still being practiced today.
Removing Women from the Home
Before I get blasted for this one, please let me explain. I actually got this idea from Barbara Kingsolver in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and from Shannon Hayes in Radical Homemakers.
In each of those books they mention that the women’s liberation movement was carefully position as empowering women by getting them out of the kitchen and into the workforce.
There is no doubt that it did achieve that goal, but at what cost? Do you know what else (conveniently) happened at the same time? Heavily processed foods started to show up in the stores and being pushed.
Up until that time, women spent their time at home preparing meals from for their families that was either sourced from their own gardens or from those in their community. They had a better connection with what was going into the bodies of their families because they were picking and preparing it.
Suddenly someone else was put in charge with this responsibility.