Thursday, November 15, 2012
In my previous post, I quoted extensively from Chesterton's essay Cheese. You can find a 15 minute lecture on the essay here. (It starts about the 10 minute mark). As the lecturer states, besides the higher quality and better taste that often comes from non-industrial local food, there is a placedness and a connectedness tying farmer and cheesemaker to the land as they practice their respective crafts, hopefully with love for the thing they are creating and the person who will consume it.
"Beyond politics" envisions building and perserving culture, which, almost by definition, means attending to the local and the quotidian even in the face of hostile bureaucrats. This story from eight years ago tells of a 40 year old Czech farmer who has to sell his cheese as "animal feed" because it was too costly to comply with the EU's cheese making regulations. A sign outside his farm reads: "Goat's cheese made from non-pasteurised milk. Hand kneaded. Recipe kept for six generations. Absolutely failing to meet EU norms, therefore designated for animal feeding purposes. Tested on people." The EU's cheese police (health inspectors) stand outside his farm "interviewing customers about what they plan to do with the cheese."
Today I will do a little toward perserving local culture when I pick up my Thanksgiving turkeys (and some cheese) from the Oklahoma Food Coop.