I blame it all on a book. Specifically, I blame it on The Omnivore’s Dilemma by one Michael Pollan, which I read in March of 2008. I remember this clearly, because I was visiting my dad in Colorado for a little late-season skiing. We are both terrible skiers, but I do remember trying to chat my dad up about grain elevator politics during the Carter administration. It wasn’t the most lively discussion, but I guess not everyone can get excited about grain elevator politics.
In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan pursues three meals by getting down and dirty with “three principal food chains”: industrial (think fast food), organic (think friendly neighborhood co-op), and hunter-gatherer (think hunting wild pigs). For his hunter-gatherer meal, Pollan actually traipses into the wilderness with a shotgun to win his dinner of wild boar and chanterelles with his own two hands. He concludes that this hunter-gatherer meal is the most gratifying of the three, largely because the path from sun to energy to human is so honest and direct.
Readers, this planted a pernicious little seed in my brain.