Nature’s Way

16 Sep

In present times, since we are so used to relying on all these supplements, it is really difficult to find food or a meal that fits Fukuoka Masanobu’s criteria of “nature”. We typically buy a ready plant (already sprouted) that may or may not have had chemicals, fertilizer, or other nutrients added to it in order to enhance its growth.  When my family first moved into our house about 15 years ago, we planted a curry leaves plant (Indian name: Limbdo)—leaves typically added to Indian food to give it taste. My family is pretty lazy about maintaining our garden since nothing ever manages to survive; so in about 15 years the limbdo plant has received watering, by a person, probably at max 30 times otherwise it receives only the sun’s light and water once a day from the sprinklers.  Regardless, the limbdo plant, through nature, became really tall and manages to survive through those factors. We don’t even change the soil! The fact that this plant grew ample without supplements a perfect example of Fukuoka’s idea of food being created through nature.

Fukuoka goes on to criticize the modern day “foodie”, who critiques the taste of foods and analyzes what may be missing and or what could enhance the taste. People cannot appreciate the natural taste of grains, vegetables, etc. (Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution). Fukuoka’s opinion is very agreeable; because “foodies” exist, food has become more complicated than it once was. It has been split into so many different categories—ethnic origin, taste, etc. Furthermore, because there are these food critics, likes and dislikes of specific foods amongst the population have become similar, even if the “foodie” is an ordinary person.  However, “foodies” were very important in the Meiji era because their opinion allowed Japan to modernize through food to the point where there were menus in French. Politicians, businessmen, etc. always are going out to lunch with colleagues, so improving and diversifying their food, based on the opinions of “foodies”, was one way to connect with the world.

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