Tag Archives: fukuoka

Art, Skill, or Both?

16 Sep

Some people would call someone who makes food that’s good for you a chef. Others call someone who makes good looking food an artist. But in today’s world of farming, have these two categories collided? Where is the difference? Now in today’s world with a population that’s exponentially growing, farmers are being forced to use all kinds of unnatural additives and preservatives too create food and keep it fresh.  And with organic produce being so expensive these days, I don’t blame society for not following as closely as they should. With this being so, Fukuoka Masanobu, philosopher of nature faming is rolling over in his grave as we speak.

Fukuoka was a strong believer in traditions.  Every culture has its traditional dishes. But it seems that all people care about today is how well you can transform those traditions into something new and hip. Lets take Iron Chef America for example. This show was created for foodies. Once a Japanese show, the Food Network decided to create their own version. This show essentially, is a competition to see which chef can create their traditional dishes, with the best twist, or something added. For the average foodie, this is a dream come true. You get to see how the food is made and what it probably tastes like.  Fukuoka would hate this show. You have French chefs trying to mix Korean into their meals. You have Italian chefs trying to mix Indian into their meals. It’s not a competition to see who can make the best food, but rather who can the make most interesting and good tasting combination.

I believe that its sad that in today’s society and culture, a traditional dish is boring. It shouldn’t be about where the dish could go, but rather where the dish is from.

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Onward, Toward Complexity!

15 Sep

Fukuoka would rather kill himself than live in our contemporary society. Fukuoka’s life revolved around the belief that humanity is one with the universe, and one with nature. He believed that we weren’t an exception to life on Earth, like many individuals would have you believe. He desired that we eat, much like every other living being on this planet, a very natural, modest diet, which comes from the Earth itself. More specifically, he said eating a meal is to connect “food with souls.”

His beliefs were drastically different from what a modern day “foodie” follows. Contemporary foodies pamper themselves with extraordinary complexity. Thousands of different flavors and textures flow with every bite. If one were to dine out in Los Angeles today, one would have a near impossible time finding a meal suitable for Fukuoka. Society has evolved into believing that complication is superior, and the culinary arts are no exception. Fukuoka’s affinity for simple, basic, bare-minimum food is an idea of the past.

He preached the advantages of eating food purely out of necessity, rather than out of enjoyment. He only ate foods that were available to him based on his location, and he ate solely what grew on his land. The disgust that Fukuoka holds for “foodies” would make his life in a contemporary urban society nearly unlivable. Perhaps he could survive if he only ate what he grew on his land, but if he tried to live where we live, he wouldn’t be able to make it.