Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The revolution will not be televised...

That's because we will be busy working in our gardens and/or in our kitchens making and enjoying real, nourishing foods! I just finished reading Michael Pollan's awesome book titled Cooked, and it offers a wonderful look into the culture of food and food-making (such as the barbecue, bread baking, and others), and how the elements (i.e. fire, water, air, earth) shape the way we cook and eat, and the power of food to transform our lives, health, and communities. I am a convert! (lol)

Then one of my students forwarded me this piece of reportage. In her email, Saudi, my sweet student wrote: "have you seen this? It reminded me of you because it's all about natural food and stuff..." It is heartening to know that young people in Puerto Rico are taking up the food cause. Even though, as the report tells us, the land in Puerto Rico is fertile and apt for agriculture, starting with the systematic destruction of the life ways of small scale farmers at mid-century, and the introduction of cheap but highly processed imported foods coupled with the saturation of the food market with fast food establishments, it is no wonder that there is a societal health crisis (i.e. diabetes, obesity, high-blood pressure, etc.) plaguing citizens on the island (and the mainland).

This picture was taken by Louise Rosskam in 1937 and it is entitled "Black milk: This baby getting a mixture of coffee, sugar and water instead of milk, which is too expensive. San Juan, Puerto Rico." Though taken in 1937, the photo looks strikingly contemporary and the caption could easily explain that the baby is drinking Coca-Cola instead of milk, which remains prohibitively expensive in Puerto Rico today, costing upwards of $6.00 per gallon compared to $4.00 per gallon on the U.S. mainland. In Puerto Rico, a liter of coke can be purchased for $1.50 on average. The point is that the food/health crisis in Puerto Rico (and in the mainland) has been long in the making but the very moment each of us begins making better choices about our food, that is the same moment we will see an immediate improvement in our health, our homes, and our communities!