Saturday, September 20, 2008

Differences, Similarities, and Food.

"...how we view life, how we view biology, how we view the living critters under our stewardship sets the precedent, the foundation, the philosophical pillars of how we view and honor and respect the differences among each other and from culture to culture." - Joel Salatin

The California cities of Davis and Irvine, while geographically different, unfortunately do not share the same views, even though its citizens share the same biological components that make them human beings.

The demographic, social, economic, and political differences in Davis and Irvine food systems are apparent. I'm transitioning from a summer Davis abode to the next three seasons in Irvine.

I spent two hours at the adjacent farmers' market this morning. I wasn't necessarily using my voting dollars every moment I could, as I felt some my fellow hasty Orange Countians did. I tasted, smelled, touched, heard, and saw the farmers' market. It was a territory I had once conquered but was now at the bottom of the knowledge chain, seeing that the seasons are now changing. My senses were on full frontal, recognizing prices, smells, and tastes much more keenly than before. After my first round of tastes, smells, questions, and price checks, I knew exactly where to grab my tomatoes, Chinese yardlong beans, pear squash, and others.

There was a double void. For one, images sprang up of the omnipresent food continuously available during my summer abode in Davis. Secondly, I conjured up thoughts of the summer comestibles I missed that had grown in Souther California the last three months. Every summer "Davis" moment I love and will continually cherish was masked by the aromas and tastes of Southern California delectables I had missed and were previously familiar with (avocadoes, tomatoes, Don's baked goods) and new autumn goods (persimmons, asian pears, and brussel sprouts).

My venture led to a demographic realization. I ambled down a produce aisle, noticing an Asian vendor to my right selling Japanese eggplant, bok choy, yardlong beans, Thai basil, and bitter melon to a predominently Asian crowd. On my immediate left was Anne Farms, predominantly Caucasian producers, selling their best nectarines, peaches, plouts, and pears to Caucasian consumers. I bought items from both.

Let's just say I'm in a somewhat maladroit transition at the moment. I looked at each vendor today, and whether or not our eyes met, it didn't necessarily matter. However, my ears are open and ready for their stories. This transition is soon to be a mission.

3 comments:

Lenea said...

I know of the guy that you have in your picture. He sells pita bread and hummus. 2 years ago I frequently bought things from him, but I want everyone to be aware about what he did. I usual purchase pita bread and hummus from him, and he was a very friendly person, and he would tell us to take two bags/containers and pay at the price of one, but everytime I found out he would short change me 1 dollar. And it happened to my roommate also. And it kept on happening. So at last, I refused to buy things from him again and buy it from the other stand that offered higher price but honorable about money. Beware.

Lenea said...

I know of the guy that you have in your picture. He sells pita bread and hummus. 2 years ago I frequently bought things from him, but I want everyone to be aware about what he did. I usual purchase pita bread and hummus from him, and he was a very friendly person, and he would tell us to take two bags/containers and pay at the price of one, but everytime I found out he would short change me 1 dollar. And it happened to my roommate also. And it kept on happening. So at last, I refused to buy things from him again and buy it from the other stand that offered higher price but honorable about money. Beware.

wearehowweeat said...

Thanks for your comment and thoughts, Lenea. I took that picture in my early food systems research. I actually haven't bought anything from that stand before.

Have you ever tried making your own hummus or pita bread? I usually do. It's a neat process, and I'd highly recommend trying, especially with the hummus. Soak garbanzo beans overnight, and process with some oil. I enjoy adding various types of herbs, cheeses, or other condiments.

Cheers,