Return and Repeat

15 Sep

Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer, philosopher, and writer, pioneered his method of “nature farming,” in which he seeks to let crops grow with as little interference from humans as possible.  However, though farmers should neither plow nor till the fields, they must do the necessary work to keep this method practical.  Fukuoka does not encourage complete abandonment of the fields, but instead focuses on teaching people the advantages of “going back to nature.”

In today’s world, it is next to impossible to find any food or ingredients grown truly naturally.  Today’s “foodies” constantly explore new flavors and create recipes, while neglecting the roots from which these dishes came into being.  For example, the acai berry hype started when some people discovered the “miracle fruit” in the wild.  Yet now, because of the popularity of the fruit, it is being so overly produced that the nutritional benefits have been depleted.  Following this, some scientist will most likely try to find a method of preserving the nutrients, even when the best method would have been to have not put them through machines to begin with.  Through their efforts to transform food into its best form, “foodies” are in fact encouraging the actions that Fukuoka strives to change.

With his belief that the fundamentals of nature have never changed, Fukuoka would criticize today’s “foodies” as aficionados obsessed with chasing the new. Those who read the blogs and comments of self-proclaimed “foodies” discover that it is not just about the ingredients anymore; there is the atmosphere of the restaurant, the customer service provided by the staff, and the difficulty of making those over-priced, extravagantly decorated dishes.  The food itself has become a side topic.

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One Response to “Return and Repeat”

  1. edibleeducation September 15, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Very nice, succinct summary! I wonder if Fukuoka would admit such a thing as a “natural food” foodie?

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