An Ode to Canned Food

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Canned food is one of the more underappreciated staples of the human diet. According to James Parker, writing for the Boston Globe ideas section, the humble canned food–invented by a Frenchman and industrialized by the British–is “an instrument of culture,” diffusing knowledge across borders, “agent of dietary democracy” understated in its transnational diplomacy. It’s also a symbol of rich philosophy, standing for “asceticism, separateness, lack of nurture, the dignity of the mental life.” Let the snobs scoff at the understated value of the canned food. Parker writes:

Let’s face it, we can’t all be cooks. And for those of us unattached to the soil, amicably divorced from Nature, to whom the seasonal tang and the fibrous crunch of freshness are matters of indifference, civilization has made a single marvelous provision: canned food.

Source: Boston Globe

Image by timsamoff, licensed under Creative Commons.

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