FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Choosing Your Dinner

Display on view at Guin Library: January 1-March 15, 2009

Ripening Tomatoes, 2000 by Kathryn Honey

Inspired by a $1 jar of pickles from Bangalore, staff member Judy Mullen set out to understand why these pickles could cost so little, come so far and compete for the shopper's attention. She presents some of what she discovered about globalized food in this provocative display. Janet Webster, co-creator, uses her artistic talent and succinct style to help explore our industrialized food system and to highlight some alternative food choices and local possibilities. Together Janet and Judy try to identify the questions consumers ought to be asking about daily food choices.

Eating is all about making choices.

"Every time you go into a grocery store you are voting with your dollars, and what goes into your cart has real repercussions on the future of the earth. But although we have choices, few of us are aware of exactly what they are. Ruth Reichl, editor of Gourmet magazine

We have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else. The condition of the passive consumer of food is not a democratic condition. One reason to eat responsibly is to live free. Wendell Berry, The Pleasure of Eating

One alternative food philosophy that has taken root internationally is the Slow Food movement. You can read more about it at Slow Food, USA or view some Slow Food Videos in which these ideas are discussed. Or contact the Newport chapter of Slow Food via email:

The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers information about Choosing Sustainable Seafood as well as Fish Fact Cards to help us make more responsible decisions about eating fish. If you're a sushi fan, read this article about how eating sushi has become popular on a global scale and what it may taste like in the future: "Waiter, there's deer in my sushi!"

For further reading:

Food For Thought: a short bibliography