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History & Culture: Log’s and Research…

This is going to be a class with a lot of reading and lots of papers or projects but the best part is that we get to pick what we want to do our projects on so we have a little bit of free range. Another thing we do is 3 Cultural logs, which as we have had explained to us are our own thoughts and opinions on why food has played such an important part in molding and shaping our worlds history and culture. This is my first Cultural log and so please read and Enjoy!

Cultural Log 1:

A Journey of Understanding and Growth in Knowledge

My time here at NECI has been full of both surprises and great learning moments. There are things that I assumed that I knew before I came to school about food and where it comes from, but as with most assumptions, I was downright wrong or correct but for the completely wrong reasons. Take for example the tomato, which I had always thought of as being native to Italy before I came to school because of all the different and wonderful things that they can do with them. Then I came to find out that not only was it from the new world, but that it was also considered poisons. I was a little bit flabbergasted because I have always loved tomatoes and couldn’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t like them. This was when I really started to pay attention to how not only the food we eat, but also the things we drink have played an important role in shaping just who we as a people have become.

To me what we eat has always been an import part of who we are, but along with this I am starting to realize is that it is not only what we eat but also what we drink that has played a part in our society. The more I learn about food the more I am drawn to learn about what to drink with that food. I’m not talking just about items like wine or beer, but items like coffee, tea, and even soda-pop’s like Coke have played a very important part in creating our world. I want to know more about why we drink what we do and how to drink the right beverage with each meal. With my time at NECI I have had a great number of opportunities to learn about both wine and beer, but this seems to me like an incomplete list. Looking back in our own country’ history, tea had a huge impact in pushing us to become our own nation. Then we look at beverages like coffee and the impacts that it is having on our world economy right now. The fair trade coffee movement is doing great things to help the countries that grow and produce it. Where would we be without the impacts that our drinks have had on us as a global people?

Looking back into the history of the world I would be inclined to use what little bit I know right now to argue that in some cases our history and culture has been impacted more by what we drink then simply the food we eat. Just from this week’s reading on China I was surprised to learn that tea cultivation began around 4000 B.C.E. I had thought that tea was something that was intrinsic to each culture as it developed. I would not have been able to guess that the Chinese where the first to use and drink tea. I knew that it was important to them and that tea had a very important meaning to them but that I and we as a people have the Chinese to thank for tea was something that I did not know. Once again I had assumed that it was the British that we as Americans had to thank for our love of tea.

Since I have begun to think about it I have begun to realize that just as there are food-ways there are also beverage-ways. I know that what we eat is just as important as what we drink and that war’s have been started and fought just for the natural resources that an area has. Over the last few years of school, small connections behind both the food we eat and the beverages we drink are starting to be made. I am trying to augment my education with not only knowledge about where ingredients come from but also what would be the best thing to drink with that ingredient because I know now that sometimes the best way to get most out of a meal is to pair what we eat with what we drink.

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One Comment on “History & Culture: Log’s and Research…”

  1. Grandma January 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    You’r so smart.

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