Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sushi for Different Strokes



This photo of sushi represents one of those odd occurances in life when you run into something for the first time and then continue to see it everywhere. If you've seen this blog before, you know I love to draw food, so this photo really grabbed my attention. I had recently heard of something called "The 100 mile diet", an interesting concept about eating only food that was grown within one hundred miles of your residence. When I went to the library this weekend, the book of the same name was on the display table. As I drew the sushi, it occurred to me that nearly all of the food stuffs represented in this sushi had come from far beyond my local area. We have no rice fields, no soy fields, no crab grounds, no sea coast for seaweed, no vinegar maufacuring for the rice flavoring, no avocado fields. The only thing that could be locally found is the cucumber. The authors of the 100 mile diet say that our food travels an average of 1,500 miles "from farm to fork". My local TV stations are currently advertising "fresh" fruit and vegetables from Chile - the tag line is "Because it's summer in Chile". Nice sentiment, but doesn't that also mean that the fruit is coming from another hemisphere? There's 10 countries between Chile and Canada. That tomato had seen more countries than I had. But despite it's wordly experiences, those tomatos were pale and insipid. Beside them in the store, were plump, vibrant, fragrant cherry tomatos from Shirley's Geenhouse in Airdrie, about 20 miles away from my house. And they cost twice as much as the ones from Chile. It's a mixed up world, isn't it?

Links:

100 mile diet

"100 mile diet: a year of local eating" by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon

Different Strokes for Different Folks for the other sushi paintings

Watercolor and Pigma pen in Moleskine watercolor journal 5x7

4 comments:

Ann said...

It's a lovely painting. Although not a sushi fan myself it is amazing to consider where our food comes from.

fishy_outawater said...

Nice job with your illustration. I took part in this challenge and found sushi very hard to illustrate. I am glad for the challenge to get us thinking and illustrating in ways we might not have before.

Anna T. said...

The 100 mile diet is such a good concept - but not as easy to implement as it seems! I like going to the local Farmers Market and talk to the people growing the food! Very nice painting as well.

Chris said...

Nice thumb. You will have a great time once you get into working in old discarded books. Think of it as giving them a second life. While you are working away you might like to try some alteredtext on a page. If you haven't heard of it; you pick out words and phases to make up a new story, saying, or poem. Then paint out the rest of the words. I used gesso (white but also black sometimes) then painted over that. If you use colored pencils you will probably need to spray the page with a fixative. Have fun!