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Collecting Food Manifestos


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I am interested in putting a collection together of "Food Manifestos" from around the world and across the centuries.

To my mind, a food manifesto is a concise list of prioritized food ideas, whether created by an individual or an international consortium or anything in between. Such a list speaks volumes about its creator and its a powerful way to learn about a place or time.

I have done something like this before (but for architecture) and found it to be very rewarding and a tremendously controversial.

Here are a few to get started:

Slow Food

Michael Smith

EatManifesto

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Does the Futurist cookbook contain a manifesto? I can't find my copy at the moment, but it's hard for me to imagine the Futurists published anything without a proper manifesto.

I don't know, reading it was on my "to-do" list for years and now I'm thinking its on my "there-are-better-things-to-do" list . "Manifesto" is such a political word, and those Futurists are nothing if not political. Check this out from F. T. Marinetti, 1909

MANIFESTO OF FUTURISM

1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness.

2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt.

3. Literature has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist.

4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.

6. The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.

7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.

8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed.

9. We want to glorify war - the only cure for the world - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman.

10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.

11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Yes, it does. They are, for example, big on synesthesia and down on pasta.

I'm big on synesthesia and pasta. I guess there's no future in Futurism for me.

If you are out there Mario Batalia I want your manifesto!

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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French diet connection

http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/200...iet-cover_x.htm

"Guiliano knows what it feels like to be overweight. When she came to the USA as a teenage exchange student, she gained 20 pounds eating seven meals a day and gobbling brownies and chocolate-chip cookies. She went home looking like a 'sack of potatoes' ...

Following the more traditional French way of living, Guiliano's extra weight melted off, and she has kept it off for 30 years...

She eats three meals a day and drinks champagne or wine daily. Her business requires her to eat in restaurants about 300 times a year, and when she does she eats full meals, not just skimpy low-calorie salads with sparkling water.

'Losing the way I did is easier than what people put themselves through here. They are unhappy. They are grumpy. They deprive themselves.'"

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How far back do you want to go?

One of the earliest treatises on diet is the Regimen Sanitatis Salerni (1531). It is available <a href= "http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/regimen/regimen1/content.htm" >HERE</a>

Here are a couple of eighteenth century ones:

<a href="http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_44.cfm">

Science in the Kitchen. A Scientific Treatise on Food Substances and their Dietetic Properties, Together with a Practical Explanation of the Principles of Healthful Cookery, and a Large Number of Original, Palatable, and Wholesome Recipes</a> (1893) by Ella Kellogg (wife of John Kellogg of cornflake fame – a strange pair, celibate marriage, teetotal, vegetarian, only “palatable and wholesome food)

<a href="http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=hearth;idno=4388740">A treatise on food and diet: with observations on the dietetical regimen suited for disordered states of (etc etc) … by J Pereira.</a>(1843)

Is this the sort of thing you want to include? There are others scattered over the Internet. If this is what you are looking for I can sort them out and send them.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Here is a description and discussion of Ferran Adria's manifesto from Madrid Fusion 2006 courtesy of AlexForbes. It is essentially a summary of the approach and philosophy of the restaurant elBulli at that point in time.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Old Foodie makes a valuable point: The important lists of this kind will not all be (in fact, most will not be) from recent Web sites or currently fashionable chefs.

Wendell Berry has a concise modern (1992) manifesto (beginning "Participate in food production to the extent that you can") and Alice Waters a fairly concise summary of principles, both in the 1992 Antaeus book listed in another thread (the book is easily available, used, for a couple of dollars). Brillat-Savarin's famous Physiology of Taste has explicit lists of principles and obbservations including what you can tell about diners by their table behavior (e.g., people who live alone are more likely to reach directly for the dish of food). Doing this topic some sort of justice surely demands looking at a book or two ...

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I think there are many "manifestos" on food, depending on what you wish to include in the term "manifesto". Looking at the term as meaning "a public declaration of purpose" by a person or a group, the inclusions could be quite extensive.

Beyond the ones one might initially think of that come from restauranteurs(/chefs) there might be manifestos found in the philosophers, manifestos found among those who practice medicine, from religions, and I wonder if there are any that could be extracted from various nationalistic political manifestos.

Even in initially thinking of this, I can see trends of manifestos through the ages. ( :laugh: ) The Kellogg consortium was not the first to espouse the particular views they espoused. I can vaguely think of others espousing the same views (perhaps shaded slightly differently but not a whole lot) from as far back as Ancient Rome all the way up to well . . .now.

But don't ask me for particulars for I have not eaten my Wheaties today and therefore I am sub-par, both mentally and morally. :sad:

It sounds like a really fun project, though. Good luck with it. :smile:

P.S. Was just about to log out and remembered Peg Bracken's "I Hate to Cook Book". That might be considered a manifesto of sorts, and certainly representive of its time. Here's a quote:

Some women, it is said, like to cook.

This book is not for them.

This book is for those of us who hate to, who have learned, through hard experience, that some activities become no less painful through repetition: childbearing, paying taxes, cooking. This book is for those of us who want to fold our big dishwater hands around a dry martini instead of a wet flounder, come the end of a long day.

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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How far back do you want to go?

One of the earliest treatises on diet is the Regimen Sanitatis Salerni (1531). It is available <a href= "http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/regimen/regimen1/content.htm" >HERE</a>

Here are a couple of eighteenth century ones:

<a href="http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_44.cfm">

Science in the Kitchen. A Scientific Treatise on Food Substances and their Dietetic Properties, Together with a Practical Explanation of the Principles of Healthful Cookery, and a Large Number of Original, Palatable, and Wholesome Recipes</a> (1893) by Ella Kellogg (wife of John Kellogg of cornflake fame – a strange pair, celibate marriage, teetotal, vegetarian, only “palatable and wholesome food)

<a href="http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=hearth;idno=4388740">A treatise on food and diet: with observations on the dietetical regimen suited for disordered states of (etc etc) … by J Pereira.</a>(1843)

Is this the sort of thing you want to include? There are others scattered over the Internet. If this is what you are looking for I can sort them out and send them.

Those are fantastic - thanks. I'm interested in going back as far as possible, the older the better.

At this stage its a survey project so I am keen to get some volume. There is a typology evolving I must say, I will definitely update this thread with my findings.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I think there are many "manifestos" on food, depending on what you wish to include in the term "manifesto". Looking at the term as meaning "a public declaration of purpose" by a person or a group, the inclusions could be quite extensive.

You are quite right, "manifesto" seems like such a political word to me. A treatise or a policy or accord etc. also work.

I am less interested in "best seller diets" than "significant movements" but one must be fair and inclusive.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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The earliest one I know of is 'De obseruatione ciborium ' (On the Observance of Foods) by a sixth century Byzantine Greek called Anthimus. A version of it has been published by Prospect Books - I lent mine out to I dont remember who or when, so I guess I'd better get myself another copy.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I am not sure this is what you are looking for, but there is an 18th century text entitled "The Pythagorean Diet, of Vegetables Only, Conducive to the Preservation of Health, and the Cure of Diseases" by Antonio Cocchi. It was translated into English from an Italian lecture. If memory serves the Pythagorean movement morphed into "vegetarianism" in the 19th century. The aforementioned text can be accessed via the Eighteenth Century Collections Online database which is available at most university libraries.

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By "manifesto", I assume the document should be political in nature, distinguishing the text from a treatise designed primarily to promote good health, balance the four humours of the melancholic and so on.

The Slow Food movement seems the perfect example of a group that views food in political terms.* Wendell Berry, too.

I had no idea the Futurists published a cookbook and wonder if the group's celebration of machinery, war and the destruction of all things traditional led to mass-produced spaghetti topped with meatballs and Kraft Parmesan cheese. Or judging by what might be a frontespiece, perhaps it's only anarchy they seek? At any rate, the lowly, anti-aristocratic sardine appears in a very French list.

Or is the intention to be more wide-ranging? Are you rifling through printed sources and the internet for anything that sounds pre- or proscriptive when the author addresses food?

Vegetarianism and ascetic/Stoic sensibilities are central to many texts of this nature. I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable when it comes to the Eastern world, whether Confucian, Buddhist, Hindu or perhaps even Shinto (???) or Maoist.

In the West, there's Plutarch on The Eating of Flesh and the attitudes inherited by Western monasticism.

Unlike Pythagoras, for example, medieval Christians did not believe animals had what they called souls; therefore, demons easily possessed them, favoring pigs (in light of Judiac tradition, no doubt). Nonetheless, meat was associated with wealth and earthly power and both monks and nuns take vows of poverty, thereby avoiding carnivorous diets during the holiest days in the liturgical calendar. It should be noted that The Rule of St. Benedict does not make a big stink about eating the animals whose pens, houses and stables were clustered north and primarily south of the entrance in ideal plans of early medieval monastic communities.

Skipping ahead, there's Thoreau and a more secularized notion of "Higher Law" in Walden:

It is hard to provide and cook so simple and clean a

diet as will not offend the imagination ; but this, I think,

is to be fed when we feed the body ; they should both

sit down at the same table ... The fruits eaten temperately need not make us

ashamed of our appetites, nor interrupt the worthiest

pursuits . But put an extra condiment into your dish, and

it will poison you . It is not worth the while to live by

rich cookery... Yet till this is otherwise we are not civilized,

and, if gentlemen and ladies, are not true men and women .

This certainly suggests what change is to be made .

It may be vain to ask why the imagination will not be reconciled

to flesh and fat . I am satisfied that it is not .

And to skip further ahead to the present day, the Green Party includes 7 Reasons to Become a Vegan on its Web site along with its manisfesto.

Actually, the link came up when I was thinking of Diet for a Small Planet.

*NOT to be be confused with crockpot cooking methods as the fuchsia hyperlink would suggest. Instead, click here.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Or is the intention to be more wide-ranging?  Are you rifling through printed sources and the internet for anything that sounds pre- or proscriptive when the author addresses food?

[ . . .]

Actually, the link came up when I was thinking of Diet for a Small Planet.

*NOT to be be confused with crockpot cooking methods as the fuchsia hyperlink would suggest.  Instead, click here.

I wondered the same thing, whether the piece had to be set as formal "manifesto" solely addressing food or whether it could be part of a larger piece addressing broader parts with food included as part of the idea expressed of how one should live, as perceived by the author(s).

Several other thoughts came to mind, too. One, of how the vocation of preparing food has a different history in terms of class or formalism than something like the vocation of architecture, which has been considered a "profession" for much longer than food preparation has, which has been more in the class of "trade" which would lead perhaps to less of a collection of formalized writings on it by well-educated practionioners, which would lead to less of a cogent collection of writings that would be separately considered as theses or "manifestos" maybe.

Michael Pollan came to mind, too. :biggrin:

And this morning, as I smelled the aroma of this brew that is ubiquitous in homes, coffeeshops, offices and wherever one goes anywhere today, I remembered some writings on coffee (around the time of its first popularlity and the growing of the coffeehouse as places to discuss culture and politics in Europe when was it, 17 or 1800's? Don't ask me, I can not ever remember these things exactly that's what books are there for, to look it up and then sound intellegent and it is too early for that, but I do know it happened :raz: ) and how coffee was an evil influence on All.

I hope this makes sense. Must go have more coffee, for I just heard the toaster pop and instead went and opened the microwave to supposedly take my toast out and of course it wasn't there.

Till later, and I do hope that nothing I wrote here ends up with those frightening little pink double lines under it,

Karen

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And this morning, as I smelled the aroma of this brew that is ubiquitous in homes, coffeeshops, offices and wherever one goes anywhere today, I remembered some writings on coffee (around the time of its first popularlity and the growing of the coffeehouse as places to discuss culture and politics in Europe when was it, 17 or 1800's? Don't ask me, I can not ever remember these things exactly that's what books are there for, to look it up and then sound intellegent and it is too early for that, but I do know it happened  :raz: ) and how coffee was an evil influence on All.

I hope this makes sense. Must go have more coffee, for I just heard the toaster pop and instead went and opened the microwave to supposedly take my toast out and of course it wasn't there.

Till later, and I do hope that nothing I wrote here ends up with those frightening little pink double lines under it,

Karen

re: Coffee

Thomas Gloning has a great collection of Culinary and Dietetic Texts on his site <a href="http://homepage.univie.ac.at/thomas.gloning/ctc.htm">CLICK HERE</a>. Go to the list of early texts on tea and coffee. The Women's Petition against coffee is hilarious - complaints that it made their men impotent ("They come from it with

nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears")

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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re: Coffee

Thomas Gloning has a great collection of Culinary and Dietetic Texts on his site <a href="http://homepage.univie.ac.at/thomas.gloning/ctc.htm">CLICK HERE</a>. Go to the list of early texts on tea and coffee. The Women's Petition against coffee is hilarious - complaints that it made their men impotent ("They come from it with

nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears")

It may be highlighted in pink in my original post, but I doubt if you'll find any mention of food in the text that pops up under Thomas Gloning's name. It appears to be an obstetric and gynae ultrasound text. :rolleyes:

Edited to add - the pink highlighting disappeared after I posted this???? Did it know I posted it???

Edited by The Old Foodie (log)

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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The Women's Petition against coffee is hilarious - complaints that it made their men impotent ("They come from it with

nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears")

I loved this post. Much here worthy of thought, Janet. Deep thought.

:laugh:

Obviously some tests need be done.

It may be highlighted in pink in my original post, but I doubt if you'll find any mention of food in the text that pops up under Thomas Gloning's name. It appears to be an obstetric and gynae ultrasound text.  :rolleyes:

They must have erased the coffee part to avoid current coffee-drinkers worries.

I think there are some texts of the manifesto sort here and there in the Cambridge World History of Food. I'll take a look sometime soon.

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The Women's Petition against coffee is hilarious - complaints that it made their men impotent ("They come from it with

nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears")

I loved this post. Much here worthy of thought, Janet. Deep thought.

:laugh:

Obviously some tests need be done.

.

Karen: I do hope you also read The Mens Answer to the Coffee Petition (same site). Even more deep thought. Such witty 17th century debate. We could learn much (and not just about coffee).

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Karen: I do hope you also read The Mens Answer to the Coffee Petition (same site).  Even more deep thought. Such witty 17th century debate. We could learn much (and not just about coffee).

I'll go back and read it, Janet. Thanks. Yes, that was the age of well-practiced manners wielded with sword's edge and a wink, wasn't it.

Not the manifesto style of insistence that often can be a hint of shrill layered onto hard rhetoric with a club hidden behind one's back should there be disagreement. :wink:

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