One World, One Food

on 18/01/11 at 12:31 pm

Booze News, BoozeBlog

The following is an article that isn’t about booze but is relevant to “we are what we eat” and that includes the grapes that make wine. It is written by Jon Rimmerman, thoughtful founder of the wondrous Garagiste .

Garagiste: \ga-räzh-eest\ noun, French, from “garer”—to dock, to protect

1. a passionate winemaker who creates fine limited production wines (occasionally in his or her garage)
2. a selective, Seattle-based wine, food and thought emporium dedicated to the artisan and consumer

One World, One Food

January 17, 2011

After yesterday’s multi-cultural nutrition symposium, many interesting hypotheses emerged but the theory that made the biggest impact on me from a wine/food/philosophy point or view was one that has gained in evidence over the past 20-30 years and will continue to do: The human species is slowly but surely developing a universal immune and response system achieved through a newly adaptive adage of multi-exposure survival of the fittest. What that mumbo-jumbo means is that we are slowly becoming the same person, regardless of where we are born or raised and we are achieving this through a complex array of food choices that form a spider web of interconnected soil/water/air/nutrients. The difference in “survival of the fittest” circa 2011 versus when Darwin proposed the theory is that the Easter Island Petri dish of isolation rarely exists on earth anymore. Today, we are truly becoming one world where borders have more to do with politics or religion than actual difference.

Today, much to the chagrin of intolerant factions around the globe (including in the US), this universal/homogenous creature inside all of us is being fed through a lifetime of exposure to the entire world’s set of regionally specific bacteria, fauna, water, air and soil. That amalgam, one that used to give one culture a leg up over another (from a health, survival and ability to generate brain power perspective), is quietly vanishing. How is this possible? You can thank that frozen pizza you had yesterday. Despite a “Made in the United States” stamp, it’s quite possible that very few of the ingredients were actually from the US. Your pizza may have contained tomatoes from Turkey, flour from China, cheese from Argentina, basil from South Africa, oil from Algeria and pepper/spices from Southeast Asia. Even the box and plastic wrapping may have been produced somewhere else.

In the past, if you (or an animal, fish, etc) were raised in and around a specific place (let’s say Sicily), your body was nourished by the foodstuffs of the geography closest to you. When you ventured outside of that region, allergies and internal alarms would be triggered by exposure to new bacteria and substances in food (or by the air/water/soil/science that formed the building blocks of that new and foreign food). This complex array of nutrition and its building of the body played an integral role in determining species and subspecies that survived in every nook and cranny of the earth.

In today’s world, humans have narrowed the playing field of regional diversity and difference to such an extent that the notion of survival of the fittest may need to be tweaked. We consume food on a daily basis that is an amalgam of regions, soil, water and nutrients from around the globe. Every day we feed our bodies with ingredients from Italy, France, China, the US, Africa, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, etc. Instead of a single-origin upbringing (as in the Sicily example above), we are now a product of multi-cultural nutrition – whether we realize it or not. Our bodies have become used to exposure from a multitude of water and soil sources that our grandparents never could have imagined. Where this becomes even more interesting from a philosophical perspective is that many of the intolerant factions around the globe (especially in western society) are unknowingly ingesting the output and heart of the economic soul of cultures they disdain and (on the surface anyway) refuse to support.

Can this march to a food-induced universal genome retreat? A move in western cultures to greenmarket and local farmer’s market grocery habits throws a wrench into the “One World/One Food” theory for the first time in decades. While greenmarket shopping is still only a minuscule percentage of the overall grocery bill in most western countries (as it remains inaccessible and too costly for most), it is a trend worth noting.

Considering access to nutrition and the fuel the body utilizes throughout its life are two of the most important aspects to growth and immune strength, the theories presented above require further understanding and study – they are more than just food for thought.

- Jon Rimmerman

(reprinted by permission)

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