Tuesday, July 13, 2004



Ideally, I would say to anyone who eats flesh: If you have what it takes to hunt, slaughter, splay, flay, eviscerate, and cook it yourself you have whatever it takes to eat it. Such was once the case with all meat eaters.

There is a generalized what I yclepe alienation of food in modern society. We not only do not have any contact with the cow that comes sanitarily, and unrecognizably, packaged in plastic wrap to us by persons unknown at the supermarket, and thus the red, chopped stuff in the package seems to have no connection with an animal at all, we have no connection with the origin and processes involved in most of the foods we eat. How many of us have had any greater part in eating bread than opening the cellophane? Even those who bake bread do not take part in the process of bread production from sowing the seeds onward. Only a few lucky farmers experience bread from seed to loaf and have physically carried out the entire process, thus learning the profound lessons inherent in each stage of the sowing to eating process.

An anecdote: My mother was once over at a friends' house. She offered to make dinner. While she was peeling potatoes for mashed potatoes one the her friends' daughters asked what it was. My mother chuckled thinking the child was kidding. She wasn't. She has never seen a real potato in her life. When my mother told the girl that she was peeling a potato the child answered: "Aw, come on. Potatoes come in boxes." True story. *And* it happened when I was a child myself. More than a generation of complete alienation from food had transpired since. The impact on our society is incalculable.

I believe that one of the reasons that people are not satisfied by food today is that we are alienated from the food we eat. Most of what we eat has been prepared for us by listless, overworked, underpaid factory workers who just want to finish the shift and get off their aching feet and rest their aching backs. Not only are we not involved personally in the production and preparation of the food we eat, no love has gone into its preparation. Is it a wonder that we come away from eating starving?

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat