Food is the most intimate commodity

Anthony Winson, professor at The University of Guelph, wrote that food is the most intimate of commodities. When you eat, you take food into your body and it becomes you. How’s that for intimate? I’ve been exploring all aspects of food politics this term in the food politics seminar class I teach at The University of Guelph. Out of everything we’ve read this fall, the article that speaks best to Winson’s idea of the intimate commodity is Lenore Newman’s article in the Canadian food culture journal, Cuizine. Newman is the Canada Research Chair of Food Security and the Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley. In her article, “Blackberries: Canadian Cuisine and Marginal Foods,” she writes, in part, about how blackberries shaped her town’s foodways, growing up in rural British Columbia. It’s a lovely read. But what I really like about the piece is that it helped my first-year students to see that food is culture. That picking berries along logging roads with your family as a kid is culture. These are the small rituals that make us who we are and they are worth paying attention to.