Thursday, March 29, 2007

Michael Pollen on the Seder

I know, this is my third post today. I'm not usually like this, and I won't keep being like this, because I have other things to do. But having just posted on Michael Pollen yesterday, I couldn't pass up the change to read and link to this interview in the Jew and the Carrot, a blog sustainable food and the Jewish community. Toward the end, the interviewer, Leah Koenig, asks Pollen to talk a bit about Passover, which he apparently mentions at the end of The Omnivore's Dilemma. Here's what he says:
I think ceremonies around food are very important and I’ve always loved Passover and Thanksgiving because they revolve around ceremonial meals where we rehearse our key relationships, both to one another and to nature. The seder is the older and more profound one – but Thanksgiving is important to our identities as Americans.

I think there’s not enough ceremony in our eating, so any time we are forced to slow down and rehearse the relationships, and symbolism and the meaning of the food we eat, and the connections that they enact, is enormously useful. We do so much thoughtless eating and the seder is an opportunity for very conscious eating. Everything on your plate has a very specific meaning – it ties to history and ties to nature.

Granted, there's a lot more to the seder than ceremonializing food, but I think that's an important part of it. Something to think about Monday night.


elf's lil sis said...

Ok, this is a little hippy dippy, but I got it from this girl I met while working on an organic farm. Before every meal she likes to say thank you to the parties responsible for the food. It's kind of like Christian grace, but sans Jesus. It usually goes something like, "Thank you farmers for growing the crops, and the sun and rain for helping etc." Then you can add something more specific, like, "Thank you Celia for making the cheese and thank you Sara for milking the goats." She picked up this practice from some middle aged Rasta with which she used to have tantric sex. Anyway, I think it's a nice way to appreciate food and keep things in perspective.

elf said...

That's sweet, actually. (BTW, it's nice to see that you have an internet connection again. I hope you don't get too nostalgic for the goats.)