Fukuoka the Foodie

15 Sep

Masanobu Fukuoka.

Writer.
Philosopher.
Farmer.
Foodie.

That’s right – in many ways, Fukuoka was a foodie. Foodies are hobbyists, and most are amateurs that don’t rely on food to make a living. They eat, cook, and read about food as a form of pleasure. They care deeply about food at every step in the process, from initial planting to ultimate consumption.

In much the same way, Fukuoka started his experiments with natural farming as an amateur, only having experienced a moment of enlightenment, without much knowledge toward caring for the land and his crops. He took pleasure from devoting his time towards his ultimate goal of perfecting the natural way of farming and living in tune with the Earth. And along the way his methods produced the best tasting foods: sweet mandarins, rich eggs, and even flavorful rice.

Obviously, Fukuoka wouldn’t agree with everything a modern day foodie believes in – in fact, he condemns their continuous search for new flavors and foods: “Modern people have lost their clear instinct… They go out seeking a variety of flavors. Their diet becomes disordered, the gap between likes and dislikes widens… people begin to apply strong seasonings and elaborate cooking techniques, further deepening the confusion” (Fukuoka, 136). His philosophy takes the natural food diet extremely stringently, but his beliefs are so radically different than the average persons and require people to concede so much in their daily lives that very few would ever “convert.” Instead, we need to find a solid medium between our lifestyles, combining his natural farming methods to produce raw ingredients with deep flavors with modern cooking techniques to develop and create more variety. We can have the best of both worlds.

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