A few weeks ago, I encountered this lecture on TED. Do you know about this online lecture series? Every once in a while, when I feel my brain beginning to rot from too much TV, and there’s nothing good on CBC Radio, this is my last resort. I can usually find something fascinating or funny to watch, and sometimes, as was the case with Carolyn Steel, learn something completely new to me.
I think what particularly struck me about her talk was how severed our connection is with the food production process. Animals used to be butchered almost at our urban front door but once the railway came into use, we didn’t have to see that part of the eating process anymore and we lost a little more of the connection that helps us to value our food and the effort that goes into creating it. But can you imagine all those hordes of poultry and livestock coming into a city? It seems impossible to think of in a time and place when urban residents have to fight just to raise a few chickens in the backyard, and bringing in a herd of goats to chew down some noxious weeds is considered a revolutionary idea!