“Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth only of beautiful soup?” – Lewis Carrol (Alice in Wonderland)
It’s not the first time that I’ve used a subject to look at humanity, indeed the world and what is beyond it.
My first book: “The Cat that became a Footballer” for instance was a constructive, humorous work that looked at humanity through the subject of football. More than a story it was written like a daily blog. However, while I’m only interested in football from a sociological viewpoint my interest in food and cookery is boundless and wideranging.
It’s an interest that stems from being Italian and from having worked in the hospitality industry for donkey years doing all sorts of jobs including cooking and ending up by being for a while a restaurant trouble shooter, a work that consisted of rescuing ailing restaurants from closing down.
Another important factor is that I’ have always liked to eat well and healthy, even when I had little money or no job.
As a subject I can’t think of a more interesting one than food and cooking and eating of course. For me they are not only enjoyable, creative and social activities but also ways of studying different cultures as the characters of people from different nations can be seen from their relationships to food, from how they eat and treat it, their care for the environment and their compassion for the animals that are used in the food industry.
For instance while in older times food was highly valued and never wasted, nowadays in our age of food abundance people take it for granted that it will always be there and cheap with the result that billions of tons of it end up in waste bins each day.
One reason for such absurd waste, that is an insult to nature, is that food education is almost totally in the hands of celebrity chefs, dubious nutritional gurus and unscrupulous food marketers whose main objectives is to capitalize as much as they can in self publicity. Another is due to a touchy culture of suing that worries food shops and supermarkets of being sued by customers who may feel ill for having eaten something deteriorated enough to cause an illness. As when such happenings occur are usually quickly reported by the media and can give a bad reputation to the outlet that sold the supposedly spoiled food items then shops and supermarket opt for throwing away what they don’t sell quickly.
Modern Food Education
Usually in older days food education was learnt at the table while eating with the family or by word of mouth with others.
Nowadays instead, with family meals having become a rare occurrence and face to face interaction much diminished it’s mostly acquired through the media, in the way of books, newspapers, magazines, television and the internet.
Unlike in older times when cookery books were rarely bought, nowadays there is a huge available amount of every type of material on the subject of food, cooking and eating. Some of it is good, other, usually the most popular not so good and only made to offer to the public a superficial and mundane form of entertainment.
When I started writing about food I decided to do it in order to give my viewpoints on food and cookery in the context of modern human society that I’ve learnt during the years of working in the environment because I feel that food and how people perceive it is a good, if not the best way to educate people and make this a better world.
Let me put it like this: art, science, religion, politics, music, literature, architecture, sport, philosophy and so on are all important aspects of human civilization but without food none of them would exist, nor human beings would exist either.