My two year old goddaughter and I in conversation.
So Baby, I see that you are eating strawberries.
You’re so cute. Exactly, strawberries. So, we are going to do your first big professional food interview. Don’t be too nervous! I’m just going to ask you some easy questions about your favorite foods and as we go on I may extrapolate and dig into broader questions about food and memory as it relates to our own personal histories in the face of a constantly shifting agricultural reality, not to mention over population which for you I guess means MORE BABIES!
Babies are very fun. You love strawberries. You are absolutely covered in them right now. Yes, it’s pretty funny. What other fruits do you like? Do you like black berries, mangos, do you like melons or even blueberries.
Ah yes, blue berries. I remember one time I was picking blue berries in a small town outside of Olympia and as I was picking them I came across the smallest and most perfectly green frog. I mean I thought it was fake until it sensed me and then jumped into another blueberry bush. It was one of those rare and highly romantic moments because in reality farm work is really dirty and hard.
But when you think about it somebody more than likely ate the blueberries that the frog was sleeping on. And if they are anything like me they totally forgot to wash their produce. I‘m the worst. So I guess the frog could serve as a reminder that our food is in a world that is diverse and wild. That’s kind of cool right? What does a frog say?
Fog say ribbih
You are so smart. But I’m not one of those people who is like “this child is a genius.” You know what I mean. I digress… so much of this romantic and austere imagery of food and food culture going on right now narrates a story of perfectly contained agriculture with no dirt and no surprises. It’s like that scene in Marie Antoinette when the queen takes her child to a farmhouse to experience a simpler, more provincial reality, but there is that shot where a servant is scrubbing the chicken poop and hay off of the eggs before the queen and her child take them from the coop. There is this erasure of the shit, I mean poop.
Yeah exactly I’m making this point really soon I promise. So we are removing the chicken poop from the image so much that we forget the actual dirt that our food comes from and if we wanted to be closer to this authentic nature then we would be eating the dirt as a sort of communion of the sacred part of the equation we have lost. Babies are doing it totally right. We should all be eating dirt. Let’s go tell your mother we came up with such a great idea.
starts to cry
Oh, Gosh I see what I did there I said ‘blue berries’ and you are two years old so you thought that I actually had blue berries. Here have another strawberry.
All yours kiddo.
That is pretty funny.
offers me a half chewed strawberry