Missing the Point

15 Sep

If Fukuoka were to cross paths with a modern-day, self-described “foodie”, he would not find much in common with that person. Fukuoka lived his life based around the notion that the human race belongs to nature like any other thing on the planet, that we as humans are not special. He would view people today as too self-involved to understand the true meaning of his ideas. Being a foodie today is a defined, cultural position. It is a stance on life, it is something you label yourself. This concept is a far cry from the beliefs of Fukuoka. He cherished the idea of simple, basic, living, doing only what is needed to survive. More importantly, he did this using the tools that nature provided.

Being a foodie today puts far too much emphasis on the food itself. A foodie would champion a local restaurant because of a particularly unique or tasty dish. Fukuoka was not concerned with flavors and exotic dishes. He viewed food as a way to survive, not a hobby. He was focused on existing as nature intended, without unnecessary complication. Fukuoka went about this by eating the foods that were available to him in his geographical region. He ate what could grow on his land and what was provided to him naturally, such as fish. This is especially noteworthy as this would be considered the exact opposite of a modern foodie’s intentions.

Fukuoka’s “do-nothing” farming style is viewed by others as a way for him to remove himself from what average people consider to be daily life. In reality, Fukuoka was minimizing his work by only doing what was necessary, instead of adding pointless steps. He makes it very clear in his writing that he believes nature is capable of sustaining itself without human interaction. In this way, Fukuoka’s way of living is in direct opposition of what we today consider the fundamentals of being a foodie.

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