I must say it’s a nice view from the top of the food chain. Instead of searching the forest for a patch of grass to gnaw on, we kings of the animal kingdom can prepare our food, and we get to enjoy it. Name one other animal in the world who gets to enjoy its food. Unlike my Paleolithic counterpart, when I spend hours with my food, I end up with a crusty loaf of French bread, as opposed to a bloody slab of meat to chew on. It’s important to respect that privilege. Too often we return to our old ways, eating our meals in cars and at desks (or during math class, as I unfortunately must do every day), treating food as if it is merely a wad of calories and nutrients to be inhaled without thought. Food deserves better than that. If we keep along that path, the fickleness of Mother Nature could very well drop us back down the food chain to our humble days of foraging and raw meat. Every meal should be both a celebration and a recognition that you’re lucky you didn’t have to pry your roast beef from the jaws of a lion… or something like that.
As a small protest to the disrespect modern humanity shows our food, I spent six hours this Sunday making bread. Not a quick bread, not a quick-rise bread, not a hurry it up because we have to get going bread, just bread. The whole process made me feel rather sorry for all the animals below us on the food chain. While the critters of our neighborhood were stocking up on calories, they had to smell the spoils of better evolution cooking away right next door. I even brought out the grill instead of the oven, so the dough could take its sweet time baking away. Then I slathered a little honey butter on it and ate it, in many small savoring bites. I did something my poor unfortunate Paleolithic ancestors could never manage, I tasted my food.