Appreciate your food – part 1

I have recently visited the Achuar tribe in the Amazon region of Ecuador. I want to present to you one of many thoughts I had about differences between our (western) culture and theirs. Of course it will be the one related to food. For starters one of the main thoughts I had was that we changed so much over the years. How much time passed since people in Europe were nomads? The Achuar didn’t change at all until around 30 years ago.

Some of you will say, yes but what kind of quality of life they had? Well some of the Indians, if they weren’t killed in any of the indigenous wars lived for 100 years!! And it was all thanks to using the jungle as their fridge and pharmacy. And both of them are pretty complete. I know that many of us live in countries a little less diverse than the Amazon region, but there are many things that we can appreciate. For example in Poland there is a dozen of different kinds of apples, which with time are slowly disappearing. My father is already saying that he used to pick these small apples in Warsaw, which now doesn’t exist. So it is already happening.

I mentioned this story about apples, because I saw a similarity within the Achuar. They have a lot of kinds of bananas, sweet, salty, raw or mature and they all love them. I thought that one day they might start loosing this diversification. They also have some produce that they cannot look at anymore. Walking through their villages you can see many oranges just lying on the soil and nobody wants them.

The Achuar diet is almost always the same. They eat some fruits and Manioc in the morning and then throughout the day they consume their special drink chicha. But what has hit me is that they all appreciate their food. And it is all for free. In western cultures many people tend to appreciate food more with its price and in many cases its not even worth its price. There are very few people (and I’m definitely not one of them) that can differentiate for example a high quality sushi from a mediocre one. But because sushi has a certain myth and a high price almost any sushi seem so delicious. Only if you buy it in a supermarket, maybe than all of us will be able to tell the difference.

I believe that the Achuar appreciate more their food because they actually see it grow and than see it being made. I wish our world would still be like this, but for many reasons it is not.

It was an introduction to the real message I wanted to transmit. Next week you will be able to read why growing your own food make you appreciate it more and what are the benefits of it.


posted by Piotr Wielezynski

One thought on “Appreciate your food – part 1

  1. Tres interessant! Le rapport qu’ont les individus à la nourriture est révelateur de la société à laquelle ils appartiennent : c est un comportement social comme un autre.

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