Notes on the Consumption of Palm Cooking Oil

Consumption of industrial products and scale not only introduces  many bad things, but also destroys many good things. Most fundamentally it destroys good taste and dignity.

Palm cooking oil destroys the taste of natural freshness and rich flavours of food. In the final destruction it changes our tongues  to be no longer sensitive and appreciative of thousands of fine flavours. Think, for example, of the fried bananas.

In traditional cultures it destroys their dignity in serving good fresh food. In some villages it is said that it is considered rude to serve fresh bananas in bunches without frying them, as if the hosts were lazy and poor. The new norm is fried bananas.

Many other ways of preparing food — such as baking, grilling, steaming and boiling —  got dis-appreciated. Those are often the best ways to bring out the real, uniquely distinct, natural flavours of various fresh materials, which I believe is the fundamental of the art of cooking.

Palm cooking oil caters to a modern desire for quick and decisive taste, but in acquiring so it homogenizes and impersonalizes our taste. It coopts our tongue to belong no longer to our unique selves, but to a system that remote-controlly dictates what is approved and not.   It alienates our tongues from ourselves and from nature. It destroys our relationship with other species.

In urban context this distancing of our bodies from nature corresponds perfectly with the general setting that there is. Outside the city it creates a powerful sense of discomforting contradiction as one feels being in nature while it is slowly creeping out from the inside of kitchens into many common and public spaces.

This entry was posted in Communities, Nature and Environment, Urban Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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