We've talked about the folks over at Perennial Plate here before but it's been a while since we've stopped by to see what Daniel and Mira are up to. Although Perennial Plate started three years ago as a very local project featuring the foodshed of northern Minnesota, they've gone global this year with visits to Japan, China and India. The stories about the people and the food they grow, cook, and eat are absolutely not to be missed. The reason why I am such a fan of Perennial Plate is because I believe that romantic as it sounds, food is a powerful place for human beings to find connection and belonging. Our stories about what we eat are truly our stories about who we are. As Westerners, we have a lot of ideas about how people cook and eat in other countries but the stories from Perennial Plate show us something different, something more personal. They remind us of our shared human need to feed our families, to be safe, and to find enjoyment at the table. This is true no matter where you are, no matter how rich or poor.
The story featured above, The Middle Way, is one of my favorites. Most of the stories I've been hearing about food in China is that it's basically been poisoned and that the Chinese people are powerless to do anything about it. The Middle Way shows a different response when a young university graduate returns to her family farm, convinces her parents to go organic, and opens a restaurant featuring the food they grow. It's a little over 5 minutes long and worth every moment of your time.