Monday, November 3, 2008

Sitopia

Every week I look forward to Saxelby Cheese's news letter. Anne Saxelby is a wonderful writer with an incredible spirit and a dedication to local food that is admirable. I wanted to share with you an excerpt from what she wrote to day:

"The word Sitopia was coined by British author Carolyn Steel in her new book Hungry City, one of the finest tomes (literary anyways) that I've consumed in quite some time. Steel looks at food issues from a myriad of different perspectives and comes to the conclusion that what we all need right now is a little bit of sitopia. In her eloquent argument, Steel combines Sitos, the ancient Greek word for 'food' with the notion of Utopia, which linguistically means 'no place' or 'good place.' The idea of Utopia has been bandied about for centuries, millennia even, but as the root of the word itself implies, has never quite taken hold in the real world. In contrast to the unattainable notion of utopia, sitopia is something that we can participate it, and indeed create, through small dealings in our daily lives. Ms. Steel affirms that there are a million ways in which we can fashion our own sitopias, whether we live in the city or in the country, simply by regarding food and our relationship with it (where does it come from? how was it prepared? who did the cooking?) in a more thoughtful way.

It seems to me that one of the finest and most fundamental places to channel a bit of sitopia is around the dinner table. We literally sit there, sharing wonderful food and conversation with the people we love, or with people we are getting to know. The dinner table is a little bit like social super glue, keeping us all connected and moored to each other and to our environments. A pretty good place to be, if you ask me."

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