One of the greatest parts of working in coffee, is the ability to meet and befriend amazing people Alex and Kait are two people who exemplify this perfectly. Known to most as Jimmy And Spade Eat, we are honored to have them guest blog for us from time to time. Cheers!
Every year my family holds a family reunion where we share laughs, food, and history. My grandfather writes a yearly article about his experiences as a child with his brothers and sisters. He grew up on a small farm in Ohio, which was the topic of this year’s article. As I read through the memories brought to life through words, I had a few thoughts. My first was of hunger as he named all the different foods his mother would make with products from the farm. My second was of the subtle food trend that has been bolstering over the past decade. We have seen the farm to table concept sweep across the US and grow in popularity. From small pop-up events and special seasonal menus, restaurants being wholly devoted to the concept, and even those few “big box” places; the farm-to-table movement is evident. I have been a huge advocate of this passion for years, from natural and humanely raised animals to organic and non-GMO produce, but more specifically—local sourcing. As I continued to ponder these thoughts I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together in my head. While farm to table may be a movement reaching from coast to coast, and it is an admirable passion, it is not a trend at all. This is simply a call to return to basic communal living. Farm to table and local sourcing are not something we should hold as a fad of fodder, moreover it should be revered as our most basic way of living.
Eating, selling, and buying locally grown produce and meat is what we have been doing as humans for millennia. Starting as far back as ancient Mesopotamia where we first learned that living together in a civilization is mutually advantageous rather than nomadic hunting and gathering. Moving forward into ancient Roman culture where we learned to control waterways and increased our agricultural outreach. Throughout the industrial revolution we learned new trades and skills as well as living in smaller, closer quarters, yet we always survived by working together through trade and bartering. As we moved into colonial America and learned farming traditions of local native americans, we continued to survive by working together. As you trail through the centuries to modern day America there has always been farmers who fed our local towns. This seemed to come to an abrupt halt in the mid 20thcentury. With the invention of frozen dinners and fast food on the rise, we took convenience over community. The baby boomer generation became a generation of heater-uppers. I think over the last 50 or so years we can see this has not been the best decision. We can see health issues and a lack of community from this trend. While we might live in the modern 21st century with technology thriving and literally everything at our fingertips, I think it is time for a change. We must learn to live and work together as a community rather than autonomous islands. We order everything from new clothes to appliances online, we even uber our food to our homes now. While these technological advances may ease our lives, they simply are not sustainable for community. We as a new generation must break through the glowing screens to keep our community alive.