Food, Power, & Control: Individuality and Our Place in the Food Chain
Our obsession with food is a sign of our growing sense of powerlessness.
Our lives can sometimes become tasteless, lacking in meaning. We search for novelty and innovation and have forgotten about depth and context. Our choices in food are just one of the many ways that we express our yearning for something with more texture, more taste, than our daily experience of Facebook and Twitter and cubicles and cross-platform synergy.
Our obsession with individualism has made food another customization rather than an expression of how we are in the world. The emphasis on ego and progress has led us to think that everything must be exactly to our liking. (Those who’ve worked in food service or retail know exactly what I mean.) At the other end of the spectrum is “food” like Soylent which reduces the deeply human experience of eating to nothing more than fueling a machine.
The irony of it all is that in the midst of our attempt to assert our uniqueness we mindlessly gobble pork bellies, oysters and micro brews convinced that we are acting autonomously.
We will consider these issues and work towards a more mindful approach to our food that, rather than accommodating the latest fads or our particular tastes, considers our place in the food chain and eating’s connection to the act of living.
Teacher: Michael Haltenberger
Michael D. Haltenberger has been teaching Religion at Hunter College for over ten years. He resents the fact that he has to grade his students rather than focus on helping them think and welcomes the opportunity to work with Olio.