Food is a thing of connection. It is what binds us to family, to the land we come from, and to our many identities. Food is a key ingredient in our daily soup — subtle, yet harmonizing.
Likewise, issues of food production and consumption are born of this connectivity. Food may express (or oppress) our identities, impact our health, or reflect an environmental ethic. In reflecting on what and how we eat, we throw light on unspoken values and issues of social and environmental justice.
The discussion of what food is has gained traction in recent years. Yet, when we talk about food today, we too often stop at its production and at questions of health — GMOs, pesticides, obesity, and the like.
But what of how food is prepared, cooked, and eaten? Is a meal the same if it is prepared by your grandmother or by a faceless employee? Is a dish as meaningful when enjoyed in the company of loved ones or when wolfed down between meetings?
Through these questions of how food is cooked and consumed, we see the full potential of food’s connectivity — one that illuminates our relationship to our own bodies, to our communities, and to our planet.
Food is the ultimate universal. Through it, we find one of the most powerful tools to humanize ourselves and others. Though the tastes and textures may be different, food is something shared by all.
How, then, can cooking and eating be used as a tool to build a better world?
This question inspires my current research on regional cuisine in Brittany, France. In this country so prized for gastronomic excellence, how can food and cooking be used as a site of resistance? And resistance against whom — against industrial food, against global influences, or against ever-expanding tourism?
This research, based on ethnographic methods, brings me into contact with artisans, producers, and home cooks. I work alongside these chefs to prepare and taste unique dishes and discover the meaning of regional cuisine for those who maintain it today.
It is these encounters, tastes, and recipes that I share through my writing and this blog.
I am an American who has gone off exploring the regional cuisines of France. Along the way, I've met vibrant communities and individuals, tasted delicious food, and come to know the nuances of terroir.
I first fused my passion for food and culture at Hampshire College, where I had studied food anthropology and am now pursuing independent research.
During recent years, I co-created a small, organic vegetable plant nursery in France. After studying food for so long, I finally saw first-hand what it means physically, emotionally, and socially to produce food.
I've come to see food as something much more than its chemical composition. What and how we eat form a central part of our identity and culture, linking individuals and communities to one another and to the earth that sustains them.
Food is ever-present in my own life. When I’m not thinking about or producing food, I also love to cook and eat it! I am a proud gourmande — a lover of all of the pleasure that food has to offer.
Ask me a question, share your thoughts, or find out how to participate in my research by filling out the contact form below.