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It begs the mother not to weep any longer so that the shroud may dry. This dream is recorded in a number of variations — a dead child appears in one dream as a full-grown man, but afflicted with a limp.

When the mother asks why he is limping, the dream brings forth a watering can from beneath his cloak and says it is full of the tears the mother has shed all these years, and he is condemned to carry this heavy thing around. The mother hastily promises that she will weep no more but devote herself to good works.

Dreams of this sort stand for countless others. Nor was the pain of losing a child felt exclusively by women. He even ordered that part of the forest cut down in which he had been riding when the news reached him. He was, to be sure, a king, who could give his emotions full play. But we must not think that people were indifferent to the deaths of their children. Miniatures show the child occupying an important place in the family constellation.

The Holy Family, in its modest but pleasant surroundings, was a favorite theme for Books of Hours. Nativities were equally well loved. Again and again, we see the stable and the Mother with the Child in her lap, admired by a solemn Joseph. Family happiness was here given its sanctification. Another favorite theme was the birth of John the Baptist. Here the circumstances depicted are more normal — there is no manger, no ox nor ass. Saint Elizabeth is lying in a decent bed and is being looked after by a number of capable women.

Many would not come through it. No one will claim that the Middle Ages took a scientific view of child development. Nevertheless, there was a good deal of traditional wisdom and a treasury of instinctive response. It was not yet a matter of course for the upper classes to employ a wet nurse. This was still a question of personal choice, with many noblewomen and even queens preferring to nurse their children. But still another element, that of pride of blood, entered in.

A story from one of the romances so popular with noble readers makes the point plain. Never did Countess Yde, who was so good and fair suffer that one of her three sons, for any cause whatsoever, should be suckled by waiting-woman or damosel; all three were suckled at her own breast.

One day the lady went to hear mass at her chapel, and commended her three sons to one of her maidens. One of the three, awakening, wailed sore and howled; wherefore the maiden called a damosel and bade her suckle the child The Countess came back and called the maiden: Swiftly she flew, all trembling with rage, and caught her child under her arms There on a mighty table she bade them spread out a purple quilt, and hold the child: Yet ever after were his deeds and his renown less, even to the day of his death.

There is a fine aristocratic passion in this scene. Then, as now, each class brought up its children in its own image. The babies of the nobility were dressed like little princelings. The child was furnished with a long surcoat of green damask trimmed with squirrel fur at the neck and wrists, a tunic of fine vermilion cloth similarly trimmed, two vermilion caps, two pairs of woolen hose, and two little doublets of Reims linen.

No less than eighteen pairs of shoes, made by the royal shoemaker, were provided over the year. It began with Latin grammar and went on to the other six liberal arts. A young noble read what classical authors were known at the time and the writers of his own epoch. He developed an elegant handwriting. Successful bourgeois also felt the need for liberal arts and sent their children to the cathedral schools, where Latin grammar was taught.

The more intellectually inclined went from there to the universities, eventually specializing in theology, law, or medicine. Even peasant boys, or those from the artisan class who showed an aptitude for study, could find their way to a university.

But what they countered there was only a form of technical schooling opening the way to one of the learned professions. By far the larger number of such students never made it to the end, for university studies were a terribly long grind, carried on under chaotic conditions. Many would drop out and find some lowly position requiring literacy. The ordinary peasant did not learn to read or write. Artisans underwent only vocational training as apprentices to their trade. But we must not imagine that the absence of regularized education left an enormous void.

There was a great deal of oral culture — telling of tales and singing of songs. Churches provided images and concepts to fill the mind and nourish the imagination. Miracle plays, under the auspices of church and guild, gave entertainment to the audience and a chance for self expression to the actors. People would gather by the hundreds to hear a preacher. The coming of printing was to change all this, adding a new dimension to society.

There was gain, and there was loss. Nonostante questo, i consumatori hanno qualche motivo per sperare. Esattamente otto anni fa, sulle pagine del New York Times, scrissi una lettera aperta al futuro presidente degli Stati Uniti intitolata Farmer in chief, agricoltore in capo.

Inoltre, un sistema alimentare fortemente centralizzato, in cui ogni settimana una singola fabbrica lava 25 milioni di porzioni di insalata e macina 20 milioni di hamburger, è fortemente esposto ai rischi sulla sicurezza alimentare. Il movimento per il cibo — la variegata coalizione di ambientalisti, sostenitori della salute pubblica, militanti per i diritti degli animali e la giustizia sociale che si batte per una riforma del sistema alimentare — stava per trovare un alleato alla Casa Bianca?

Per i grandi produttori di suini e di pollame, che sui Cafo erano sostanzialmente riusciti a piegare sia le autorità locali sia quelle federali, erano parole minacciose. In realtà questa imponente piramide alimentare è composta da almeno quattro livelli. Ne fanno parte anche i coltivatori di altre colture di base e le aziende che forniscono sementi e prodotti chimici a questi agricoltori. Al vertice della piramide di big food ci sono le catene dei supermercati e dei fast food.

Ciascuno di questi settori è dominato da poche aziende molto grandi. Ognuna di queste industrie è rappresentata a Washington da una o più lobby molto potenti. Il North American Meat Institute rappresenta big meat, e lavora insieme alle singole associazioni di categoria, divise per specie animali: La National Restaurant Association è la voce delle catene di fast food.

Negli ultimi anni hanno unito le forze contro un avversario comune: Orto presidenziale Poco dopo essere arrivati alla Casa Bianca, gli Obama cominciarono a far venire i bruciori di stomaco a big food. Non contenta, la first lady promosse la creazione di un mercato di agricoltori locali poco lontano dalla Casa Bianca; apparve in un servizio fotografico in cui riempiva un cestino di prodotti locali e mostrava di apprezzare la verdura fresca.

Sembrava solo una piccola polemica, ma forse era un primo avvertimento. Mettendo a rischio le loro stesse fonti di sussistenza, allevatori e agricoltori raccontarono gli abusi delle aziende a cui erano costretti a vendere il loro prodotto, spesso a condizioni sfavorevoli. Alcuni allevatori di polli sostennero che il sistema contrattuale in vigore nel settore li aveva ridotti a mezzadri. Aziende come la Tyson e la Perdue facevano irmare agli agricoltori dei contratti in base ai quali i grandi produttori fornivano i pulcini e il foraggio e poi decidevano quanto pagare il prodotto inito sulla base di criteri misteriosi.

Gli agricoltori che protestavano o che osavano opporsi a una richiesta del fornitore per esempio quella di adeguare le strutture non ricevevano più pulcini e di fatto erano tagliati fuori dal mercato. Nello speciico, la proposta rendeva più facile per i produttori fare causa ai grandi fornitori per eventuali pratiche inique o ingannevoli e li tutelava contro le rappresaglie. Avalos fu sottoposto a un fuoco di domande solo per aver fatto il suo lavoro. Vilsack, ormai in ritirata, propose di rivedere le nuove regole per renderle più accettabili.

E lo stesso è successo nel , nel e nel Che ne è stato del tour per le campagne americane e degli incontri con i cittadini? Le linee guida federali sulla nutrizione sono diventate più chiare e sensate.

Abbassare il contenuto di grassi va bene, ma sostituirli con zucchero e sale no. Non si tratta di trovare modi creativi per far sembrare i prodotti più sani. Da una parte i leader del settore si impegnarono a lavorare con la fondazione di Michelle Obama, la Partnership for a healthier America, per creare una serie di accordi tra aziende private, una delle proposte avanzate dalla first lady nel suo discorso.

I supermercati si impegnarono a promuovere alimenti più sani nei loro negozi. I produttori di cibi trattati promisero di ridurre la quantità di ingredienti nocivi, come il sale e lo zucchero, e di aumentare la quantità di ingredienti salutari come la farina integrale.

Le aziende che aderivano a questi accordi erano ricambiate con la preziosa opportunità di un servizio fotograico con la first lady. Nel caso di Subway e Walmart, Michelle Obama si fece perino vedere nei loro punti vendita. Per la first lady questi accordi erano un risultato importante. È sicuramente importante eliminare gli ingredienti poco salutari dai cibi trattati.

Cosa voleva dire veramente? Molto poco, a quanto pare. La bozza, pubblicata ad aprile del , era scritta in modo tale che molti cibi per bambini, come lo yogurt dolcificato che a volte contiene più zucchero per grammo della Coca-Cola , le zuppe in barattolo che spesso sono bombe di sodio e perino i Cheerios ugualmente pieni di sale non avrebbero superato il test. Anche se gli orientamenti non avevano forza di legge, erano comunque una disgrazia per big food.

E la first lady. Negli anni successivi big food ha ottenuto una serie impressionante di vittorie. Se il governo vuole regolamentare i Cafo, prima di tutto deve sapere dove sono questi allevamenti e quanti animali ospitano. Ma forse big food ha ottenuto la sua vittoria più importante in una battaglia che non ha nemmeno dovuto combattere. Per qualche motivo, tuttavia, ha deciso di non chiamare in causa uno dei settori più responsabili di emissioni: Esiste anche una componente culturale, e qui big food ha un grande problema, che è stato aggravato da alcune delle vittorie politiche ottenute dal settore negli ultimi anni e che è destinato a peggiorare.

È una posizione scomoda per il settore, ed è per questo che molte aziende rappresentate dalla Gma hanno provato invano a nascondere il loro coinvolgimento in questa battaglia.

La mancanza di trasparenza è destinata a creare siducia, e questo potrebbe danneggiare il capitale più prezioso nelle mani di big food: Queste battaglie hanno mostrato le prime crepe nella facciata del potere di big food, punti deboli che alcuni attivisti hanno capito come sfruttare. Ma i produttori non si sono mai piegati. Invece di prendersela con un gruppo di produttori senza nome, che non avevano niente da perdere respingendo le loro richieste, i lavoratori hanno cominciato a prendere di mira i grandi marchi di big food che compravano i loro pomodori: Nel la coalizione ha preparato la bozza di un Fair Food Agreeement accordo sul cibo equo che prevede un aumento di un centesimo per libbra di prodotto raccolta e deinisce nuovi standard sulle condizioni di lavoro.

La coalizione è riuscita a ottenere risultati che sarebbe stato impossibile raggiungere a Washington. Sotto questo grande ombrello ci sono difensori dei diritti degli animali che litigano con gli agricoltori sostenibili; attivisti contro la fame nel mondo che contestano il tentativo dei sostenitori della salute pubblica di escludere le bevande gassate e le merendine dalla lista dei beni acquistabili con i buoni alimentari; ambientalisti che litigano sui cambiamenti climatici con gli allevatori di bestiame sostenibili.

Chiamarlo movimento è un atto di generosità e di speranza. Tutte le volte che gli Obama hanno provato a stuzzicare big food, hanno dovuto cedere al potere delle lobby. Perché il movimento per il cibo non è ancora una forza politica riconosciuta a Washington.

Non ha ancora la struttura organizzativa né le truppe per far suonare il centralino della Casa Bianca o del congresso quando si discute di uno dei suoi temi. Attacchi personali Il potere del movimento per il cibo sta nella forza delle sue idee e nel fascino delle sue aspirazioni: Un primo esempio è la reazione al documentario Food, Inc.

Cosa succederà quando queste persone cominceranno a influenzare le politiche e le leggi? Fu in quel periodo che i miei impegni come relatore nelle università cominciarono a subire cambiamenti improvvisi di programma.

Un invito della Washington state university, che aveva organizzato una lettura di uno dei miei libri, fu improvvisamente ritirato, uicialmente per problemi di costi ma secondo i giornali su richiesta di un produttore di grano che faceva parte del consiglio di facoltà.

Quella debolezza è la coscienza del consumatore, che negli ultimi dieci anni ha cominciato a interessarsi di questioni come la provenienza del cibo, i metodi di produzione e le conseguenze delle nostre scelte alimentari sul pianeta, sulle braccia che ci danno da mangiare, sugli animali che mangiamo e, sempre di più, sul clima.

Anche se sono ancora una minoranza, i consumatori statunitensi che si interessano a queste questioni non si idano di big food e riiutano i suoi prodotti. Potremmo chiamarla little food.

Ecco perché le aziende stanno comprando marchi biologici e artigianali, sperando di scoprire il segreto del loro successo che non è un segreto: Uno dei possibili sviluppi della politica per il cibo potrebbe essere quello delle campagne dal basso indirizzate non contro i politici ma direttamente contro big food, prendendo di mira il suo punto debole: Nonostante la delusione, va riconosciuto agli Obama di aver dato visibilità e sostegno a little food.

Sembra molto improbabile che il nuovo presidente possa rappresentare una minaccia altrettanto grande. Donald Trump dice pubblicamente di amare il fast food, mentre Hillary Clinton ha rapporti di vecchia data con la grande industria alimentare: A Washington la politica e le leggi raramente si muovono prima della società.

Di Michael Pollan, estratti "Internazionale", anno 23, n. Compilati e adattati per essere postato per Leopoldo Costa. Enquête sur une révolution silencieuse. En fait, la France ne sait plus trop à quelle sauce elle doit déguster ses repas auxquels elle reste attachée, pourtant, au moins le soir.

Une chose est sûre: Il est vrai que les nouvelles concernant la qualité des produits alimentaires ne sont pas bonnes. La semaine dernière encore, une étude divulguée par Générations Futures a révélé que les mueslis non-bio, mélanges de fruits secs et de céréales, très consommés par les enfants, révélaient une présence importante de résidus de pesticides perturbateurs endocriniens.

Des cocktails dont on commence à mesurer les dégâts sur la santé cancers hormono-dépendants, intolérances, allergies, troubles de la croissance ou du sommeil Dans la foulée, Marisol Touraine, ministre de la Santé, a réagi en proposant de fixer une limite globale pour tous les pesticides présents dans les aliments… Cela existe pour les eaux de boisson, mais, étrangement, pas pour la nourriture.

Certains signes ne trompent pas: Il a ouvert cette année, à Rungis, un comptoir au carreau des producteurs ne valorisant que des produits made in Ile-de-France. La viande subit aussi cette exigence de qualité et de proximité. Le prix mais aussi les campagnes contre la souffrance animale commencent à avoir un impact sur une partie de la population, notamment les ans qui se tournent facilement vers le végétarisme. Elle a travaillé toute sa vie sur le moringa, notamment dans les pays en voie de développement car la plante est reconnue pour ses qualités nutritives.

Le retour du burger, par exemple, mais dont la viande sera bio ou labellisée. Elle représente aussi la grosse majorité des livraisons à domicile. Mais là aussi les grandes marques de référence de la junk food se voient obligées de repenser leurs approvisionnements, plus locaux, et même certaines de leurs recettes.

Dactylographié et adapté pour être posté par Leopoldo Costa. Mais, au fait, pourquoi compte-t-on plus de sorcières que de sorciers? Voilà des questions qui obsèdent Jakob Sprenger et surtout Henricus Institoris nom latinisé de Heinrich Krämer , auteurs du terrible Marteau des sorcières , le plus célèbre des traités de démonologie À la fin du Moyen Âge, voir dans la femme la principale et malheureuse auxiliaire de Satan ne va pas de soi. De même, beaucoup de femmes, vieilles et expérimentées, aident aux accouchements et concoctent en secret des potions abortives.

Les sorciers suscitent donc crainte et respect, mais, en cas de crise, ils fournissent aussi des boucs émissaires à la vindicte populaire. Mais, au XVe siècle, la perception de la sorcellerie évolue rapidement. Mais sieceuxci ont les moyens de faire parler les suspects, et surtout les suspectes, qui tombent entre leurs griffes.

La Pucelle atelle gardé sur elle une mandragore plante magique qui est censée attirer la fortune? Atelle fréquenté cet Arbre Michée Chauderon est la dernière femme à avoir été exécutée pour sorcellerie dans la république protestante de Genève, le 6 avril Mise à nue et rasée selon la procédure usuelle, elle est piquée en différents endroits du corps par des médecins qui ne trouvent pas la marque du diable.

Après , quelques femmes seront encore poursuivies pour sortilège à Genève, mais plus aucune ne sera exécutée, et le sortilège, comme en France, ne tardera pas à être décrimi nalisé.

En , un vague bout de chemin a reçu son nom à Genève ; et en , on a même organisé en son honneur une sorte de procès de réhabilitation à grand spectacle. Last year my mother turned 70, and, in a mood of giddy nostalgia, she brought out an old college-ruled notebook: But I am a writer, and she is a chemist. For the Kaufmans and Hurleys; do you remember them? But I did remember that salmon mousse. Pink, jiggling, molded in the curved shape of a fish. She considered this, sipping her red wine.

First, the adventurous period of youth: And the recent era of rediscovered adventure: Thai food and mango salad, taken from one of her cookbooks. Old friends came and went in her journal. New favorites joined the rotation. And there is my father, who, despite being her ex-husband, appeared every year or so after their divorce, including on the most recent page: In it, there is no menu planning. Often I get the date wrong. That is because, while my mother has always written in her journal before a dinner party, I write in mine afterward.

There are almost no repetitions and no salmon mousse of my own. It is all variables. Hers pass from early motherhood through divorce and the deaths of friends without a break. I, on the other hand, have three entire years unaccounted for. Was I too content to put anything down? My journal chronicles the meals of a moody, passionate person; hers are efficient and calm.

I see her journals and am envious: By 45, I should not be winging it at dinner. I should learn to plan a menu. I should practice with old favorites. I should have a salmon mousse. And so I am putting this resolution into practice at a dinner party for writer friends. The menu is already written in my book—chicken with sunchokes and spinach salad. To start, a favorite of mine already curing in the fridge: And for this I must apologize to my mother: It is as close as I can get.

I love you; I do. But I have always hated that salmon mousse. Traditionally, making use of every part of an animal was a way of life, as well as ensuring a source of protein throughout the lean winter months. It is the cured fat from the back of the Cinta Senese pig, a traditional Tuscan breed, often sold in a thick chunk or in fine slices like this.

Cured in salt, pepper and a mixture of herbs which impart a subtle flavour, it can be made into tasty crostini, served as part of an antipasti platter in wafer-thin strips or as a topping to season hot dishes. Creamy and buttery in texture, this lardo has hints of hazelnut alongside its slightly sweet, herby flavour. Nicely flecked with fat, it has a satisfying meatiness and depth of flavour we loved the hint of fennel that you expect from a richly cured meat. Not too salty, we liked the hints of mace and black pepper.

Made from minced pork with garlic, pepper and a good hit of chilli, its seasoning is well balanced and the meat tender. Try with jarred artichokes or other preserved vegetables. Not too salty, it certainly delivers on flavour, which is rich and slightly tangy with just a hint of sweetness, and it melts in the mouth.

Magazine", UK, issue , November , excerpts pp. It is not our purpose to follow the vicissitudes of that monumental undertaking.

Our task is much less daunting, but it is still of importance. To answer this question, it is necessary to look at what the government did during the first eleven months of the conflict, for between September and early August the machinery for feeding the nation was put in place and had assumed a definite sense of direction.

Taking a leaf from the framework used in earlier chapters, we will assess how well the government succeeded by describing first how the food and agriculture sectors organized themselves and how they handled the question of prices. Next, we will discuss the agriculture-related measures—the ploughing up campaign, the labour issue, and farm mechanization. This will be followed by a look at aspects of food control: At this point we will relate the reaction of the lobby groups and the rural population as a whole to what was occurring.

And finally we will discuss two exceedingly significant events to round out our picture—a Cabinet reshuffle on 3 April and the formation of the Churchill government beginning on 10 May. These two changes brought in their wake a Scientific Committee on food questions and a long-range statement on food policy. Now armed with an inclusive, rational approach to the food problem, the government could look back, if it ever had the time to do so, with a sense of satisfaction for a job well done.

To place food and agriculture and their relation to the early stage of the war in context, it will be helpful initially to discuss briefly the military and diplomatic developments between September and July as well as the major happenings on the civilian front. This was followed by a six-month hiatus during which Britain and France tried to figure out ways to hold the Nazi menace at bay some even advocated peace , while the Western Allies built up their military strength to oppose the enemy.

While the combat in Norway proceeded, on 10 May the Germans unleashed their long-anticipated invasion of France and the Low Countries. His appointment did little to halt the German forces, however, and by mid-June it had become obvious that they had won a resounding victory.

By this time, they had also taken all of Norway. As the Battle of France drew to a close, the French decided to surrender, and as we all know, Britain and many of the Dominions found themselves holding out alone. The Germans, who had been joined during the later stages of the fighting by Italy, now had to decide what to do next, and the war entered another phase. Happily for Britain, and for the world, the situation eventually turned around, but that did not occur until many months later in the conflict.

At home, during the first eleven months, the transition to a war economy started somewhat creakily, but soon picked up steam. The extent of the changeover is evident in some basic war production figures. The increase in tanks was not as dramatic— from in to 1, in —but the total jumped three and a half times to 4, in In naval construction, the Programme added ships of all types, though no capital ships, to the rapidly expanding inventory.

Moreover, the number of individuals under arms increased from around half a million in to over 2. Wartime Britain had become a reality. The government also responded in expected ways. Chamberlain established a War Cabinet, and it became the central institution for running both the military and the civilian sides of the conflict.

Among the new ministries were Supply actually established in August, a month before the war , Shipping, Economic Warfare, Information, Home Security, and, most importantly for our purposes, Food. In addition, a National Service component was officially added to the Labour ministry. Two results stand out. One, not only did the London-based administration of thirty departments employ thousands of personnel, but many of them had branches throughout the country that engaged many as volunteers thousands more.

And two, one is struck by the interrelated nature of the effort. The number of interdepartmental committees came to total several hundred, and while they varied in importance, all of them were responsible directly or indirectly to the War Cabinet.

One example of how the departments were expected to relate to each other is the Food Policy Sub-Committee. It was to look after broader aspects of food policy, and while it conceived of its brief in narrow terms, Food Policy and similar committees were vital elements for overseeing the war economy.

Despite its complexity, the committee system, with which the British government was so familiar in peacetime, was expected to play an even more crucial role in the wartime setting. As with the other departments, officials in Agriculture and the new Food ministry had already prepared to organize themselves for war before it started. When it broke out the Agriculture ministry, headed by Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith, duly shifted its seventeen London-based divisions to wartime duties, though the size of its staff remained about the same at 3, They included a division for animal feed, another for tractors and implements, and a third for fertilizers and seeds.

The more than War Agricultural Executive Committees also sprang into action. They represented the Agriculture minister and were directly responsible to him. Assisting them were full-time paid staffs made up primarily of land agents, agriculture organizers, technical advisers, and university personnel. Each county was further divided into four or more districts.

They had their own local boards, and they had under them a number of Sub-Committees that functioned according to task, such as one for drainage, animal feed, cultivation, labour, and the like. Their duties were extensive and included the right to inspect farmland and buildings and to render technical advice.

They also worked with farmers to determine the type and amount of crops and livestock they would produce, the fertilizer needed and the labour and machinery required. While they did on occasion exercise this right in a high-handed manner and thus became owners in the process , this criticism has to be placed over against the rise in productivity that came about.

Nevertheless, one has to conclude that the committees should have acted with greater restraint, and their eviction practices mar an otherwise highly successful effort at the local level. In the Food ministry, which was under William Morrison, the changeover to wartime duties was equally rapid.

The ministry further set up three internal committees—an Orders Committee to ensure compliance with regulations, an Overseas Purchasing Board to coordinate foreign food imports, and a Margins Committee to regulate the amount of profit allowed although the last was not established officially until April The only major organizational difference between Food and Agriculture was that while Agriculture had 3, personnel, Food had only That number for the Food ministry changed dramatically, however, during the early months of the war and reached 3, by March Also like Agriculture, Food had an extensive local organization.

Nineteen divisional officers were spread across the country, and they, in turn, had under them more than 1, local Food Control Committees. The local committees were especially concerned about sufficient food reaching the shops and rationing, though rationing did not begin until January Among the issues common to Food and Agriculture, none was more significant than price controls.

The government had already determined that on basic commodities, such as wheat, livestock, and milk, it would become the sole purchaser and would pay farmers a guaranteed price equal to that they received at the outbreak of the war. The subsidy was to ensure farmers reasonably high prices but at the same time prevent inordinate increases from being passed on to the consumer.

The system did not work especially well at first. The government set prices on the basis of 28 August, but the cost of imported food rose much faster than expected as did the cost of imported feeding stuffs, and this forced the Food ministry to raise its guaranteed price for some products several times in — It also ushered in the constant readjustment of food prices throughout the war.

In addition, price controls for the basic commodities were not instituted on all of them at once, but piecemeal because of a lack of staff in London.

The result was that prices for some commodities, such as oats and barley, were not controlled as soon as they should have been. And finally, as discussed earlier, price controls for food could never be completely effective unless other aspects of the economy were also controlled, and comprehensive measures, including procedures for dealing with excess profits and wage adjustments, were introduced only gradually. Not until the end of was the government getting a handle on controlling the entire economy.

In the Agriculture ministry, its most important function was to bring about increased home production. The programme actually had two parts, which the ministry for patriotic reasons called campaigns. When the war started Minister Dorman-Smith assumed the lead for the government to explain what the campaign entailed.

The goal, he said, was to plough up at least 10 per cent of the pasture or idle land. In other words, he wanted to put approximately two million more acres into production for the harvest.

The ploughed-up land was to be sown with wheat or potatoes, or possibly oats, barley, beans, peas, rye, or maize. He also assured livestock farmers that they would have sufficient animal feed. The Minister went on to state that the government was doing its best to see that farmers received necessary supplies. For the present they should rely on their usual merchants.

His final point was to tell labourers to continue working the land, the implication being that their participation was essential as well. In this situation, he added, agricultural workers should also profit. The average minimum weekly wage for labourers rose from 34s. But the wage level was still uneven, since it was being set locally by each county committee. In June the government took the issue in hand and raised the minimum to 48s.

Dorman-Smith again took the lead in promoting it. The objective, he noted, was to provide citizens with half a million more allotments mainly in urban areas so that they could provide more of their own food, including potatoes, onions, carrots, and other vegetables. The allotments were to come from a variety of sources, but primarily from local authorities, who were to be allowed to take possession of unoccupied land and to divide them into plots. He also reminded his listeners that they might raise small animals, such as chickens and rabbits, for additional food.

Although annual figures are not available, Murray estimates that the number of allotments increased from , in to 1,, in , and that the amount of land used for allotments rose from 95, to , acres during the same period.

Criticisms of the campaigns pale in comparison. Still, if the goal was more home-produced food, that goal was met in all parts of the United Kingdom. On the other hand, governmental subsidies to agriculture continued to increase, and this trend continued in the post-war years.

At the same time, milk was also emphasized, and this had a beneficial effect on school children and expectant mothers for whom it was soon made free of charge as well as for the rest of the population. Finally, though the government did not forget about livestock, especially beef, for morale purposes, the replacement of pasture with cropland reduced the amount of meat available to consumers.

The ploughing-up campaign and its ancillary, dig for victory, were accomplishing what the government, and the ministry, had hoped. Tied in with greater production was the second major concern of the ministry: As it turned out, the problem was not as insuperable as anticipated, and primarily for two reasons. A detailed study by F. To make up for the 92 that left, new workers were hired.

They included 55 from other farms, 24 from nonfarm occupations, 9 boys who had reached school leaving age, 8 Land Army girls, 7 casual workers, and 2 conscientious objectors. While Sturrock pointed out that the new workers were not as skilled as those who left, the gap had, none the less, been filled.

But by the spring of , with the labour market becoming tighter, farmers became more receptive, and by the end of the year 6, were working in rural areas. It reached a peak of 87, in Many of them were from the cities, and they had to be at least seventeen to join. They were given uniforms consisting of a green sweater, brown breeches, high boots, and a brown felt hat; underwent four weeks of training; and then were to sent individual farms or lived under supervision in hostels.

They often worked eleven-hour days and were to have a half-day and Sundays off, but that was often not possible because of the nature of their jobs. They did all kinds of work, but most often were used to milk cows. Some of them eventually even became tractor drivers.

They were paid around 25s. Shirley Joseph has written movingly about her experiences. She recalls being interviewed—among the questions asked, did she realize cows had to be milked every day? Her first job was at Warborough Farm, where she worked from 6. On Wednesdays she received a half-day off, and she often used the time to hitch-hike to her home nearby. Her accommodation for part of the time was a cottage with no electricity or running water.

Later, she worked out of hostels at Shrivenham, Bramley, and Faringdon. Though allowed to do some milking, her main jobs were threshing and hoeing crops, which she describes as dirty, hard work. She remembers the hard bunks, queuing for meals, the total lack of privacy, the boyfriends some of them Americans , the long hours of work.

Her experiences were probably typical of the , who served. Denman was also able to enlist influential patrons. Dorman-Smith had tried to sell the idea to the cabinet, but was turned down. He did not give up, however, and talked Chamberlain and Simon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, into placing an order with Fordson, the only firm capable of supply tractors in sufficient numbers.

The process generally worked as follows: Other farmers bought their own. Despite the rationing of petrol, farmers were not restricted from using it for their machinery. As a result, tractors became a common sight in the rural landscape. In the number in use was 56,; by , it had climbed to , Added to this was a substantial increase in disc harrows, cultivators, binders, combines, and milk machines, some of which were also controlled by the committees.

The tasks of the Food ministry were more inclusive than those undertaken by Agriculture, for the former was to handle all aspects of food control except for home production.

This division of responsibilities, however, still did not preclude the two ministries from dealing with a number of common issues; nor did it put an end to the interdependency with other departments.

In fact, interdependency was greater during the war than before it. It is difficult to treat all of the issues the Food ministry faced, let alone to determine how well it carried through on them during the first eleven months of the war. Nevertheless, six were most important. The first to be discussed is the food import programme.

Taking it over entailed a number of tasks: Even more uncertain was coping with the vagaries of the war. Would the trade routes remain open? And how would the war affect imports from the Continent? Despite the uncertainties, the ministry obviously had no option but to forge ahead.

It further established a licensing system for individual products though not all to differentiate between those Britain wanted and those it wanted to restrict or to prevent from reaching the enemy. Also in the background was the fact that the government hoped to use the system to ease the foreign exchange problem.

While instituting these measures helped, numerous problems still ensued. The government had overestimated the amount of merchant shipping it would have at its disposal and underestimated the non-combat disruptions the war would cause, even though before the war officials had estimated possible reductions in food imports of around 25 per cent. At first, because of the legacy of pre-war patterns, the anticipated difficulties seemed not to materialize, but it soon became apparent there were shortages, especially in wheat, and that the reserve was being used up.

Moreover, the Food and Supply ministries were competing for cargo space, and so that problem had to be reconciled. Finally, the shortages meant that the ministry had to choose which products it would import.

It had already decided to emphasize grain for human consumption, and not for animals, but it had to import enough feed so as not to deplete the dairy herds inordinately.

The decrease in feeding stuffs did not have much of an effect on imported meat, at least at this point, for refrigerator ships were not in short supply. But, in the long run, the stress on grain products rather than on meat did, as stated before, have a considerable effect on the British diet.

By November trade in food imports was down to about two-thirds of normal, and shortages in some areas had become severe. But emergency shipments of wheat from Canada and a better familiarity with the procedures on the part of all the countries involved eased the situation by March Even the Norwegian campaign and the Battle of France in the spring did not interrupt the flow of goods for the time being.

Despite a shaky start, the food import programme was now on a solid foundation. This solid foundation made it possible for the ministry to handle the drastic cuts that would be required in the future. Some of them, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, remained staunch trading partners as well as joining the British cause. Others, like Argentina, drove a hard bargain for its beef, wheat, and maize, but decided to continue its trading relationship with the British.

Two exceedingly important countries from a trade and a military standpoint were France and the United States.

Throughout the British had been establishing closer trade links with the French, and when the war broke out the two allies set up an elaborate machinery for inter-country sharing and for joint purchases abroad.

It was headed by Jean Monnet, later the foremost proponent of post-war European cooperation. The coordinating committee had under it nine committees, one of which was food. The main food committee also spawned a number of Sub-Committees, including ones for cereals, oilseeds and fats, and meat.

To get an idea of the subjects discussed, a look at some of the decisions the committee made at its 12 February meeting is instructive. Besides joint purchases, the French offered to sell oil cakes to Britain and to arrange for a shipment of salt from Djibuti to British East Africa. Britain, for its part, agreed to sell some of its Newfoundland cod and salted herring to the French.

An example of pre-emptive buying was their decision jointly to purchase dried fruits from Turkey so as to prevent them from ending up in German hands. The motive was not so much that Britain and France needed the fruit as it was to help influence Turkey not to join the enemy side. The horse-trading at the February meeting thus served a number of purposes, and both French and British representatives regretted the dissolution of their coordinating machinery on 4 July To be sure, both nations wanted increased trade, but it was always complicated during —40 by American neutrality and British foreign exchange problems.

In fact, early on Britain said it was interested in purchasing basic food products, but suggested paying for them with British goods, such as wool from Australia, rather than with hard currency. Nevertheless, Britain streamlined its trade links with North America, first by agreeing with Canada in August to set up a purchasing commission in Ottawa, and then in November extending it to New York City for American goods. Although both of these bodies were different from the version, they still owed their genesis to the purchasing commission.

Despite the complications, each nation kept the other apprised of its thinking. The increases and decreases also related to food products. US officials were well aware that the value of British imports in that area was diminishing, and they predicted it could well decrease by as much as 50 per cent of normal. Britain had virtually stopped buying fresh fruits, lard, and grain, though it usually purchased little of the latter in any event.

Especially galling to American tobacco farmers had been the cut off of that product. The British had offset the effect of their actions to an extent by continuing to purchase canned fruit and by increasing cotton imports, but it still was far from enough to overcome the overall decrease.

Yet, they remained sensitive to American frustrations, and the Food ministry made a large purchase of maize—which Britain definitely needed—from the United States in the spring. Therefore, the two countries might not always get along, but security interests continued to dictate that the two work out their differences in all areas, including the food trade.

In retrospect, however, when one looks at the difficulties Britain faced in getting food imports from all of its trading partners during the early months of the war, they were minimal when compared with the difficulties the country was to experience in maintaining relations later on.

Since the air war over Britain did not materialize, carrying out a second area of food control, distribution and storage, had pretty much gone according to plan. Wheat, for example, was mainly unloaded in the west and south, and meat and sugar primarily through London and Liverpool. Port Emergency Committees handled the day-to-day operational problems.

When the air raids did not take place, the government had the goods replaced. As for distribution inside the country, private hauliers and wholesalers were contracted to make sure goods reached retail outlets.

Although shortages at times did occur, as it did when meat was poorly distributed, it was seldom the fault of the transportation industry. The third area of concern, food supply, did not fare as well as the distribution system. At first the supply of basic food products seemed adequate, but by October and November shortages were appearing, especially in cereals, feeding stuffs, and sugar.

At this point the difficulties could not be overcome by home production, and so, in the case of grain, the shipments of wheat from Canada helped ease that situation, and in the case of sugar, rationing, already widely anticipated, was the alternative selected.

Animal feed remained a difficult proposition, but the government soon began decreasing the amount imported and further cut its use by rationing meat. By March the initial food supply crisis had passed, but it was a foretaste of problems to come.

What the departments had learned was that flexibility rather than rigid programmes was the preferred method for dealing with food supply emergencies. The fourth area with which the Food ministry concerned itself was evacuations from the major cities. Like distribution activities, evacuations were primarily the responsibility of another department, in this instance the Ministry of Health, but Food was still involved.

The evacuations had actually begun on 1 September, two days before the declaration of war, and within ten days 1,, persons, approximately half of whom were school children accompanied by their teachers and helpers, had been settled into mostly pre-arranged accommodation. As emphasized before, London was not the only city to have large-scale evacuations. About 15, from Birmingham and Liverpool, for instance, went to Herefordshire, and others from Southampton to Glasgow were sent to less endangered areas.

When the air raids did not occur, the pressure was off, and the evacuees started returning home, some on their own, others more systematically.

By January two-thirds of them were once again living in their own dwellings. From the beginning, the Food ministry took over this responsibility and established a Service Supply Branch to administer the programme.

All parties well understood that the services were to have the highest priority for food, and depots were set up in the United Kingdom to distribute bulk supplies to stations at home and to an extent abroad. But for much of the food at overseas bases, the ministry coordinated but allowed the service ministries to continue using their own sources of supply, many of whom were foreign agents. To ensure coordination the ministry had liaison officers assigned to work with the services, and it met with army, navy, and air force representatives to discuss common problems.

Regarding provisions for troops beginning to arrive in France, it coordinated that effort with the Anglo-French machinery as well as with the services involved. This early spirit of cooperation obviously helped when the country had to cope with the dark days that lay ahead. The final and by far most visible aspect of food control was rationing. The major problem with rationing was that even though every one expected it, it was slow in coming about. The Food ministry had already determined the system to be used—consumers registering with individual retailers—and the products to be immediately rationed—meat, sugar, bacon and ham, and butter, and possibly margarine, cooking fats, and tea—and this information was known by the public.

Not until 8 January was rationing introduced. In the meantime, the chorus of complaints multiplied. Alexander set forth the anti-government position. He pointed out that the national registration system, which was to form the basis for consumer registration, had been completed by the end of September and thus should no longer cause a problem. He ended with a quote from the prominent retailer Alan J. On the 29th the government announced the rules for using the ration books that had already been distributed.

They applied primarily to regular households, but the ministry also had special books for service personnel on leave; those needing extra rations, such as labourers doing heavy work; and for individuals whose work involved extensive travel.

Every adult was to receive three and a half ounces of bacon and ham when cooked per week, 4 ounces of butter, and 12 ounces of sugar. To get an idea of the detail involved, the ministry stipulated that homemakers would be allowed an extra ration of sugar to make marmalade and bee-keepers extra sugar for their colonies.

Meat was rationed next, in March, and then margarine, cooking fats, and tea in July. Among the products not rationed were bread only as a last resort , potatoes, fish, and fresh vegetables, though they were still subject to price controls.

For morale purposes, tobacco and alcohol were also not rationed. In fact, one of the favourite refrains governmental officials used when talking to the public about food controls was to declare there would be no restrictions on beer.

The instituting of selective rationing did not end all of the criticisms. People continued to complain—the sugar ration was insufficient, the price for butter too high—but for the most part it was fair. Moreover, from time to time, the ministry made additional changes to improve the programme. The most notable was the introduction of a point system to supplement registration with retailers.

With the new programme, the buyer was given points, and he or she was then allowed to use them to purchase goods of their choice from a limited, but non-rationed, list. This innovation, too, was considered a success.

Overall, then, despite a belated start, the ministry and local officers did a commendable job administering the rationing system, in part because officials had done extensive planning before it was implemented, in part because it entailed the type of detailed work in which administrators often excel. To keep the multitude of factors straight, the government relied on two previously mentioned bodies, the Food Policy Sub-Committee and a joint Food and Agriculture committee with the awkward title of the Interdepartmental Committee on the Coordination of Food Policy.

The Food Policy Sub-Committee was the more broadly based of the two, and it was established in late November The Sub-Committee had an additional pre-war cast to it in that it included numerous Treasury officials.

But even though the Sub-Committee did discuss these issues and received advice from other councils and groups, such as one made up of agricultural economists, it never went beyond dealing with immediate problems rather than establishing a long-range policy. At first, the main problems were rationing and the food supply.

But the lack of a long-range policy, along with a lack of coordination, led to criticisms from both traders and consumers, and Chamberlain thus decided in late March to replace Food minister Morrison with a businessman, Lord Woolton.

One of the things that happened soon afterward was a change in the name of the Sub-Committee to the Food Policy Committee, and Woolton insisted that it frame a longrange statement. Churchill retained the highly regarded Woolton, and he was no doubt pleased to have an appropriate statement on his desk by late July.

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It was a symbolic expression of power, wealth, prestige and indulgence. Holding sway over a vast territory that for almost years — stretched from the banks of the Danube River and the Balkans to the Arabian Peninsula and the northern shores of Africa, and included most of the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Sultans and their entourages ate and drank as if at some celestial banquet, complete with music and dancing girls to entertain them. With access to the finest ingredients grown or produced in their vast, fertile lands, and exotic spices brought by ship and caravan via the spice routes from Egypt and India, Ottoman chefs could give full play to their creative talents.

Typical of the palaces where such lavish meals were enjoyed was the Topkapi in Istanbul, one of the major residences of the Sultans for almost years — of their year reign.

As well as being a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a museum and a major tourist attraction. On this, my third visit, I focused mostly on the kitchens, which give a fascinating inside view of the elaborate production process that resulted in day-to-day meals and special occasion feasts.

Remodelled by the famous court architect Mimar Sinan after the original structures were burned down in , the Saray Mufaklari palace kitchens consist of ten domed buildings, and include separate sections for such items as soups, desserts, jams and sherbets, beverages and confectionary; also a pantry which today houses the archives.

Meals had to be produced on a daily basis for all the 4, or so inhabitants of the palace, who included the Sultan, his harem, his administrators and servants. As I admired the immense collection of Chinese blue and white, celadon and Japanese Imari porcelain that was transported over the Silk Road or by sea, I wondered in amazement how they ever reached their destination intact, with not a chip or crack in sight!

Dolmabahce Palace The day concluded with a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace, across the Bosphorus, a blue-green stretch of water that turned into shimmering gold in the late afternoon sun. By the 19th century, the reigning Sultan Abdujmecid had become enamoured of all things European and had moved his household to this European-style residence.

The feasting continued here, but from now on, European-style tables and manners became au courant. Watching the sunset over the Bosphorus, I imagined the sun setting over the Ottoman Empire, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who spent his last days and ate his last, presumably more modest, meals at this palace — established the Turkish republic in The latest health trend, favoured by celebrities and sports personalities alike - is coconut water all it's cracked up to be?

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside a young, green coconut, which is usually about the size of a basketball. Ideally, young coconuts are harvested between five and seven months of age, which is when they contain the most water. A drink that has been favoured by Brazilians, Indians and Asians for years, coconut water is now widely available in places where the coconut palm doesn't grow-such as the UK and the US, thanks to it being packaged, shipped and readily available.

Coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste and is a naturally refreshing thirst-quencher. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes-perhaps why sportsmen and women favour it, as electrolytes and sugars need to be replaced after periods of exercise. We explore some of the other possible health benefits of coconut water. People who suffer from migraines often have low levels of magnesium, and as coconut water has high levels of magnesium it can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.

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During rigorous exercise or long periods of physical activities, our bodies lose essential electrolytes potassium, sodium, chloride and bicabornate.

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But scholars have not agreed on how to fit assemblage into the general chain of evolution before the coming of the firmly established agricultural economy. The settlements of the Cishan—Peiligang culture are normally small, measuring about 1—2 ha, never exceeding 6 ha, with features such as simple subterranean dwelling structures and storage pits.

Pottery types are simple and three-legged bowls and jars are common, fired at a relatively high temperature; surface treatments are rare but may feature loose card impressions. At the Cishan site in Hebei, 80 of the ash pits yielded remains of grain and the charcoal samples were determined to have beenmillet.

At the Peiligang site in Henan, charcoal samples of millet were also excavated. These findings suggest that the Cishan—Peiligang culture represents a widely existing first stage of cultural development in Yellow River valley. They also suggest that farming and sedentary life had already become widespread in North China in the seventh to sixth millennia BC and that millet was the staple crop under cultivation by early communities of village-dwellers.

A recently reported site is Jiahu in southern Henan, measuring 5. However, in a chunk of burnt earth, impressions of ten grains of rice were discovered, securely dated to — BC. The discovery revealed an alternative food strategy available to the Cishan—Peiligang communities, but it also raises the question about the region where rice was first domesticated.

At the same site, archaeologists also discovered the earliest tortoiseshell most likely used for divination purposes, inscribed with two insolated graphs. It had been thought for a long time that rice was domesticated and cultivated first in South China, centering on certain sites located near the Hangzhou Bay, dating around BC roughly contemporary to the Yangshao culture in the north , and easily predating South Asia, the other center for rice cultivation in the ancient world, by at least 2, years.

It took at least the same length of time for the rice agriculture that originated in South China to reach the Korean Peninsula in the north and Southeast Asia in the south. However, recent discoveries have pushed the date of rice domestication far back by at least two millennia, pointing to the inland basins along the Yangzi River.

In two early Neolithic sites in Hunan Province, carbon dated to — BC, charcoal remains of rice have been found either in pottery bodies, or in a large quantity of as many as 15, grains in a section of a moat surrounding what was probably the earliest defense wall in China.

In recent years, archaeologists have also made efforts to understand the process by which pottery-making technology was invented in China. In the excavation of the cave site at Zengpiyan in Guangxi, archaeologists were able to define a sequence of strata in which early pottery remains were identified. From the period I stratum, dated to 12,—11, BP, were found a few coarsely made and thick shards, fired at a low temperature.

From period II, dated to 11,—10, BP c. Although the subsistence pattern of the Zengpiyan society was likely to have been based on fishing and gathering, the findings offer good lessons as to how pottery-making was developed from its infancy, perhaps in a stage even earlier than in North China.

NOTES 10 In archaeology, the name of a non-literate culture is usually derived from the site where its remains were first identified. But sometimes variations do occur when a culture is renamed after its most representative, and usually most prominent site. The carbon dating method was developed by Willard F.

Libby in at the University of Chicago. Carbon is one of the carbon isotopes. It exists in all living organisms at an even level and decreases at a constant rate half of the amount of the radioisotope at any given time will be lost in the succeeding 5, years after the organism dies. By measuring the amount of carbon that still remains, the age of the organism can be determined.

Carbon dating was introduced to China in the s, and is now widely used in Chinese archaeology. Blackwell, , pp. There is a distinctive feminine type we recognize at once as medieval. We see her face, her figure, in stone and wood in innumerable churches.

We see her in miniatures and tapestries. Not until the fifteenth century does she begin to make a few shy appearances in the nude, in the role of Eve or as a saint undergoing martyrdom. The ideal medieval woman was small and slim. Her breasts were high, small, and firm; her skin pearly white. She was extremely trim and well coordinated, with every fold and layer of her clothing carefully adjusted, her hair confined under a headdress.

She seems to have favored a particular posture — weight slightly forward, knees slightly bent. She certainly was not taught to stand tall, to hold up her shoulders, to draw in her abdominal muscles, or to move provocatively. Her body language implied rather a certain meekness and vulnerability.

A high and rounded forehead was admired. Again, this was a child-like characteristic and perhaps referred back to a specific racial type. At any rate, one sees such foreheads often in Gothic stone carvings, in men and angels as well as in women. For those who did not have such high-domed brows, the effect could be partly achieved by concealing all her hair under a tight headband.

Women also plucked and shaved their temples to produce that ovoid line. The fashionable clothing of the time — tight bodices, drooping sleeves, and towering headdresses — greatly restricted movement. They maintained their slenderness by eating sparingly.

Moreover, the religious life of ladies called for a good deal of fasting. Thus, piety and slimness went together. Strict observation of religious practices was part of aristocratic manners. Nevertheless, a good deal of this was merely for show. Girls who were too devout were headed for the cloister. For social life, something less austere was wanted, but even there, demeanor was highly controlled. The peasantry, ruled by different necessities, had a different view of what constituted the ideal woman.

Of course, a pretty face and a pleasant disposition would not have gone unappreciated among rustics also. The folk tales that reveal so much of the psychic life of medieval common people repeatedly sound the theme of the good and beautiful peasant girl who is elevated to the nobility.

But sturdiness and industry counted for more than social graces. A mature peasant woman was a pretty earthy creature with few sexual inhibitions and a sharp sense of the value of a penny.

She did not seem to care much what she looked like. Heavy work, coarse food, and close quarters gave little encouragement to female narcissism. She was often the dominant figure in the family. Again, we know this from folk tales with a gallery of strong woman characters. The bourgeois woman, as she ascended to the higher levels of her class, modeled herself increasingly on women of the nobility.

Yet there were significant distinctions between them in style and outlook. Aristocratic artifices, refinements, and subtleties ran counter to the bourgeois spirit. The Ménagier certainly was not one to lose sight of his middling station. He constantly cautions his young wife on this point. Nevertheless, he cannot himself resist aping his betters to some extent. After all, doing things right means following the usages of the best circles of society. And he has married somewhat above himself; his bridge is a girl indulged and used to idleness quite on the aristocratic pattern.

It is our good fortune that he felt obliged to write down everything she had to know about her future duties. As the wife of a prosperous bourgeois, she was not expected to do the housework, but only to supervise her servants. Even here, she could count on help. The Ménagier had a Master Jehan who acted as steward, did the shopping, and hired, fired, and directed men servants.

There was also an elderly housekeeper, Dame Agnes, who belonged to the order of the Beguines. Although there was no lack of people eager for jobs, servants were hard to manage. Those who came for a single day, like porters, wheel-barrow men, and agricultural laborers, tended to be independent and short-tempered.

At pay time, they often broke out into shouting and foul language. The prosperous man had an instinctive mistrust of the lower classes. Here, at the end of the fourteenth century, we already have the convictions that underlay the so-called Protestant ethic. Still, with good examples and no laxity, and if assigned enough work so that they could fill the day and honestly earn their wages, servants could be taught decent behavior. The saying went that he who had good servants had peace and he who had grumblers laid up sorrow for himself.

Before domestics were hired, careful inquiries were made of their previous masters. Maidservants between fifteen and twenty had to be specially supervised. They were taught how to extinguish their bedtime candle properly, by blowing it out or snuffing the flame with two fingers, not with their skirts. Back home, these country girls had neither candles nor nightshirts.

The mistress inspected the wines to be sure none disappeared during the night. She gave the servants their instructions for morning and saw that the hearth fires were banked with ashes. The household woke early. In town, the bell of the nearest church pealed for prime.

Servants were up quickly and at their morning duties — fires had to be started, water drawn, stable cleaned, horses fed, the street around the entrance swept. The maids dusted the hallway, beat out cushions and mats.

In the course of the day, they would work their way all around the house, cleaning every room. They made up beds with the help of a bed staff, a stout club for smoothing the heavy linen sheets. They had twig brooms and sponges, pails, water, and sand. Crude soap could be made from ashes and lye for hard-to-clean places. One aspect of housekeeping was time-consuming and frustrating. This was the fight against vermin.

Fleas lurked in the folds of woolen clothes and in the bedding. The multiplicity of prescriptions against them indicates that there was no definitive way to get rid of them. White woolen cloths were spread to attract the fleas: The black specks could then be seen, caught, and destroyed.

Alder leaves strewn in the bedroom were also said to attract the insects. The airing and beating of textiles were major tasks for the maidservants. In better homes, a small room was provided, a garde-robe, where all the family textiles could be stored and presumably sealed away from infestation. Woolen clothes were infrequently cleaned, but then the quality of the wool was so good that such clothes largely resisted soil.

An excellent cleanser was verjuice, which was fresh grape juice prevented from turning by the addition of salt. In the fall, when the grapes were first pressed, a great cleaning of woolens took place. Cookbooks were just beginning to appear in the latter part of the fourteenth century. We have to study them a bit, finding our way through the terminology that makes medieval cooking sound rather ferocious. But the brouets are only stews, and the porrays, classified as white, green, and black, are vegetable purées.

Many of the dishes would have been entirely to our tastes, and, in fact, are still part of classic French cookery. We would certainly like medieval desserts — figs, grapes, pears, cherries, nuts, candied orange peel, cookies, and crepes.

Even the archaic sounding frumenty turns out to be that old New England specialty, Indian pudding — though it uses wheat or barley instead of the still unknown cornmeal. The preserves of pears, peaches, and quince were made with honey rather than sugar, but sound delightful.

Hippocras is nothing but mulled wine. Sweetened with honey or, for fancier occasions, with sugar and spiked with cinnamon and cloves, hippocras obviously served the need for something more stimulating than the ordinary wine that was taken with every meal. Distilled liquors were as yet unknown, although the Ménagier tells how to make an interesting meal by setting honey to ferment with beer.

On the other hand, the Ménagier gives certain recipes we, at first, cannot understand. The dishes strike us as difficult to prepare and digest and uses an odd mixture of spices. It has been suggested that the spices were needed to cover up the taste of tainted meat. But there is no reason to think the meat would have been tainted. Animals were slaughtered daily, and there is evidence that the meat trade could estimate daily demand with great accuracy.

Nor were the spices covering up the taste of salt, for the recipes in question are usually for fresh meat or fish. The flavor must have been appreciated on its own merits. In fact, the mixture of pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves yields what we now call curry powder. What the medieval French were eating were curries. The bourgeois wife spent a good while in the morning dressing.

Though she had no full-length looking glass, only a polished brass plaque in which she could see her face, she was highly aware of her appearance. Fashions were changing with great rapidity by the mid-fourteenth century, especially in regard to headdresses and the cut of sleeves. New fabrics, colors, and weaves were making their appearance. These were first taken up by the nobility, but very soon the middle-class woman was asking for the same.

Upon the classic base of chemise undershift , blanchet white blouse, a bit of which would show around the neckline , cote a long sleeved, close-bodiced dress , and surcote a wide cloak open at the front and cinched in with a broad belt , all kinds of variations could be played. Belts became articles of vanity — they were embroidered, made of precious fabrics like brocade or velvet, ornamented with silver-gilt beads, and hung with a purse or some jeweled ornament.

The surcote developed great width and length. It sometimes even had a train and was edged with fur. In this form, it was called the houppelande. The simple white scarf used by countrywomen to keep their hair in place during heavy work had been elaborated into the wimple. Of very fine linen or silk voile, the wimple surrounded the face and went under the chin.

To drape it becomingly took a great deal of art and time. Most aristocratic of all was the hennin, a tall, conical headdress which had a wire framework for support. Priests denounced such excesses of dress in their sermons.

The bourgeois husband, too, preferred to have his wife dress discreetly without novelties that would cause talk, especially among his female relatives. Ever sensitive on this point, he could be brought round to approving new purchases. Churchgoing was an important duty of the wife. Since she might be the only one who had time for it, her devoutness served for the whole household.

She said a quick prayer in French upon awakening; as soon as she was dressed, her destination was the church. Her deportment, as she walked, was prescribed, as was correct behavior in church.

She was not to be distracted, but to choose a quiet spot before a favorite chapel, and holding her head upright and keeping her lips ever moving, to say the right prayers for the day. To help with this, the Books of Hours were much in demand. The requirements of worship had become so complicated that the average person could hardly cope with them. The answer was a private prayer book, with the prayers arranged according to the canonical hours.

Besides her spiritual life, her supervisory functions, and social contacts with relatives and guests, the bourgeois woman had another great resource — her garden. The garden was not large and was rather formally arranged, with square or rectangular beds edged with bricks.

In the city, the whole was enclosed by a brick wall, in the country by a wattle fence. The flowers in the garden were violets, pinks, peonies, lilies, and roses. There was also a selection of vegetables, but these were by no means paramount. More room was allotted to the herbs — those used in cooking, those used in simple medicinal preparations, and those from which fragrant waters were made for laving the hands after meals.

The garden also contained berry bushes and espaliered fruit trees. But here we are faced with a paucity of material. The Ménagier, so eager to give instruction on every aspect of the household, has not a word to say on child care.

This was the realm of women. They passed on to each other whatever was known on the subject. It was not very much, and infant mortality was high. The causes of death in so tiny a creature were hard to pin down. One writer stated that most babies died because their mothers, taking them into their beds, unwittingly crushed them during the night.

He had observed, however, that God in His grace had given an infant special gifts: As a result, those who brought up a child loved it and instinctively had pity on it.

That last point was very necessary, because children were so dirty and bothersome when they were small and so bad and capricious when they were bigger that no one would want to look after them otherwise. All children should take the Lord Jesus for their example; he had been so humble and obedient to his blessed Mother and her husband Joseph. Nor could one say that children were good or bad because God had made them that way. They were not like the beasts or the birds, but had free will, at least once they were ten years old.

Those who looked after children loved them increasingly as they grew. But that was dangerous. Children must not be allowed to have their will when little; they must be corrected just as a twig should be bent while tender. A parent should not show a child too great a love, for that would make the child proud and embolden it to be bad. A child should first be chastised by words, then by the birch, then by prison.

Few children died because of too much severity, but many because of too much indulgence. That, at any rate, was one theory of child rearing. The books that propounded it were written by men, not women. These men were often clerics who not only had had no experience with family life, but were also basically opposed to it. We must remember that theology was by no means sympathetic to children or to the broader spectrum of family feeling.

The deep pessimism that was one strain of religion looked dourly upon women and what they stood for. The cry of a child was the lamentation of a soul condemned to live in a world of evil. It was not through the taking of wives, the begetting and raising of children, that fallen humankind could reach salvation, but through prayer, penitence, and gifts to the Church.

That was official doctrine. It was believed and yet it was not believed. Yet the Church had also provided a whole department, as it were, to take care of family needs. This was headed by the figure of Mary. Every church had a Mary chapel, and this was the most protected, the most sacred of all, situated in the center of the apse directly behind the altar.

The south portal of any cathedral belonged to Mary, and the south window of the transept. The figure of the slight and smiling young mother, of stone or polychromed wood, holding the Holy Infant, was as prominent as the crucifix in every church. There were some Mary statues that were wonderworkers, and people came from great distances to pray before them.

Certainly, women could see that she was on their side. They turned to her daily and in every emergency. If barren, they prayed to her for children. If pregnant, they prayed for a safe delivery. And when they had a child, they prayed to her for its health and safety. What the nineteenth century called the diseases of childhood — smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria — were endemic. In the south, there was malaria and typhoid. Breastfeeding conferred some natural immunity, but this did not extend beyond weaning, nor was it proof against many types of infection.

Certain herbs were known to be good — to tighten the bowels or draw out fevers. In country districts, where vestiges of paganism hung on, there were spells — nonsense syllables that sounded vaguely Latin — and ceremonies performed at a sacred tree or spring. But on the whole, mothers did not want to entrust their children to the dark powers. They turned to the Blessed Virgin. And if Mary failed them in this, they did not believe the less in her. She would at least look out for their dead children in paradise.

The age had an immense resignation in the face of death. More important than saving a life was assuring a soul a place in heaven. But this did not mean that a dead child was not mourned. A few hints in sermons illuminate an area of medieval psychic life that otherwise lies in darkness. A dream is reported in which a dead child appears to its mother and shows a wet shroud. It begs the mother not to weep any longer so that the shroud may dry. This dream is recorded in a number of variations — a dead child appears in one dream as a full-grown man, but afflicted with a limp.

When the mother asks why he is limping, the dream brings forth a watering can from beneath his cloak and says it is full of the tears the mother has shed all these years, and he is condemned to carry this heavy thing around. The mother hastily promises that she will weep no more but devote herself to good works.

Dreams of this sort stand for countless others. Nor was the pain of losing a child felt exclusively by women. He even ordered that part of the forest cut down in which he had been riding when the news reached him. He was, to be sure, a king, who could give his emotions full play. But we must not think that people were indifferent to the deaths of their children. Miniatures show the child occupying an important place in the family constellation.

The Holy Family, in its modest but pleasant surroundings, was a favorite theme for Books of Hours. Nativities were equally well loved. Again and again, we see the stable and the Mother with the Child in her lap, admired by a solemn Joseph.

Family happiness was here given its sanctification. Another favorite theme was the birth of John the Baptist. Here the circumstances depicted are more normal — there is no manger, no ox nor ass. Saint Elizabeth is lying in a decent bed and is being looked after by a number of capable women.

Many would not come through it. No one will claim that the Middle Ages took a scientific view of child development. Nevertheless, there was a good deal of traditional wisdom and a treasury of instinctive response. It was not yet a matter of course for the upper classes to employ a wet nurse.

This was still a question of personal choice, with many noblewomen and even queens preferring to nurse their children. But still another element, that of pride of blood, entered in.

A story from one of the romances so popular with noble readers makes the point plain. Never did Countess Yde, who was so good and fair suffer that one of her three sons, for any cause whatsoever, should be suckled by waiting-woman or damosel; all three were suckled at her own breast. One day the lady went to hear mass at her chapel, and commended her three sons to one of her maidens.

One of the three, awakening, wailed sore and howled; wherefore the maiden called a damosel and bade her suckle the child The Countess came back and called the maiden: Swiftly she flew, all trembling with rage, and caught her child under her arms There on a mighty table she bade them spread out a purple quilt, and hold the child: Yet ever after were his deeds and his renown less, even to the day of his death.

There is a fine aristocratic passion in this scene. Then, as now, each class brought up its children in its own image. The babies of the nobility were dressed like little princelings. The child was furnished with a long surcoat of green damask trimmed with squirrel fur at the neck and wrists, a tunic of fine vermilion cloth similarly trimmed, two vermilion caps, two pairs of woolen hose, and two little doublets of Reims linen.

No less than eighteen pairs of shoes, made by the royal shoemaker, were provided over the year. It began with Latin grammar and went on to the other six liberal arts.

A young noble read what classical authors were known at the time and the writers of his own epoch. He developed an elegant handwriting.

Successful bourgeois also felt the need for liberal arts and sent their children to the cathedral schools, where Latin grammar was taught. The more intellectually inclined went from there to the universities, eventually specializing in theology, law, or medicine. Even peasant boys, or those from the artisan class who showed an aptitude for study, could find their way to a university.

But what they countered there was only a form of technical schooling opening the way to one of the learned professions. By far the larger number of such students never made it to the end, for university studies were a terribly long grind, carried on under chaotic conditions. Many would drop out and find some lowly position requiring literacy. The ordinary peasant did not learn to read or write. Artisans underwent only vocational training as apprentices to their trade.

But we must not imagine that the absence of regularized education left an enormous void. There was a great deal of oral culture — telling of tales and singing of songs. Churches provided images and concepts to fill the mind and nourish the imagination. Miracle plays, under the auspices of church and guild, gave entertainment to the audience and a chance for self expression to the actors.

People would gather by the hundreds to hear a preacher. The coming of printing was to change all this, adding a new dimension to society. There was gain, and there was loss.

Nonostante questo, i consumatori hanno qualche motivo per sperare. Esattamente otto anni fa, sulle pagine del New York Times, scrissi una lettera aperta al futuro presidente degli Stati Uniti intitolata Farmer in chief, agricoltore in capo. Inoltre, un sistema alimentare fortemente centralizzato, in cui ogni settimana una singola fabbrica lava 25 milioni di porzioni di insalata e macina 20 milioni di hamburger, è fortemente esposto ai rischi sulla sicurezza alimentare.

Il movimento per il cibo — la variegata coalizione di ambientalisti, sostenitori della salute pubblica, militanti per i diritti degli animali e la giustizia sociale che si batte per una riforma del sistema alimentare — stava per trovare un alleato alla Casa Bianca? Per i grandi produttori di suini e di pollame, che sui Cafo erano sostanzialmente riusciti a piegare sia le autorità locali sia quelle federali, erano parole minacciose. In realtà questa imponente piramide alimentare è composta da almeno quattro livelli.

Ne fanno parte anche i coltivatori di altre colture di base e le aziende che forniscono sementi e prodotti chimici a questi agricoltori. Al vertice della piramide di big food ci sono le catene dei supermercati e dei fast food. Ciascuno di questi settori è dominato da poche aziende molto grandi. Ognuna di queste industrie è rappresentata a Washington da una o più lobby molto potenti. Il North American Meat Institute rappresenta big meat, e lavora insieme alle singole associazioni di categoria, divise per specie animali: La National Restaurant Association è la voce delle catene di fast food.

Negli ultimi anni hanno unito le forze contro un avversario comune: Orto presidenziale Poco dopo essere arrivati alla Casa Bianca, gli Obama cominciarono a far venire i bruciori di stomaco a big food. Non contenta, la first lady promosse la creazione di un mercato di agricoltori locali poco lontano dalla Casa Bianca; apparve in un servizio fotografico in cui riempiva un cestino di prodotti locali e mostrava di apprezzare la verdura fresca.

Sembrava solo una piccola polemica, ma forse era un primo avvertimento. Mettendo a rischio le loro stesse fonti di sussistenza, allevatori e agricoltori raccontarono gli abusi delle aziende a cui erano costretti a vendere il loro prodotto, spesso a condizioni sfavorevoli. Alcuni allevatori di polli sostennero che il sistema contrattuale in vigore nel settore li aveva ridotti a mezzadri. Aziende come la Tyson e la Perdue facevano irmare agli agricoltori dei contratti in base ai quali i grandi produttori fornivano i pulcini e il foraggio e poi decidevano quanto pagare il prodotto inito sulla base di criteri misteriosi.

Gli agricoltori che protestavano o che osavano opporsi a una richiesta del fornitore per esempio quella di adeguare le strutture non ricevevano più pulcini e di fatto erano tagliati fuori dal mercato. Nello speciico, la proposta rendeva più facile per i produttori fare causa ai grandi fornitori per eventuali pratiche inique o ingannevoli e li tutelava contro le rappresaglie. Avalos fu sottoposto a un fuoco di domande solo per aver fatto il suo lavoro.

Vilsack, ormai in ritirata, propose di rivedere le nuove regole per renderle più accettabili. E lo stesso è successo nel , nel e nel Che ne è stato del tour per le campagne americane e degli incontri con i cittadini? Le linee guida federali sulla nutrizione sono diventate più chiare e sensate.

Abbassare il contenuto di grassi va bene, ma sostituirli con zucchero e sale no. Non si tratta di trovare modi creativi per far sembrare i prodotti più sani. Da una parte i leader del settore si impegnarono a lavorare con la fondazione di Michelle Obama, la Partnership for a healthier America, per creare una serie di accordi tra aziende private, una delle proposte avanzate dalla first lady nel suo discorso.

I supermercati si impegnarono a promuovere alimenti più sani nei loro negozi. I produttori di cibi trattati promisero di ridurre la quantità di ingredienti nocivi, come il sale e lo zucchero, e di aumentare la quantità di ingredienti salutari come la farina integrale. Le aziende che aderivano a questi accordi erano ricambiate con la preziosa opportunità di un servizio fotograico con la first lady. Nel caso di Subway e Walmart, Michelle Obama si fece perino vedere nei loro punti vendita.

Per la first lady questi accordi erano un risultato importante. È sicuramente importante eliminare gli ingredienti poco salutari dai cibi trattati. Cosa voleva dire veramente? Molto poco, a quanto pare.

La bozza, pubblicata ad aprile del , era scritta in modo tale che molti cibi per bambini, come lo yogurt dolcificato che a volte contiene più zucchero per grammo della Coca-Cola , le zuppe in barattolo che spesso sono bombe di sodio e perino i Cheerios ugualmente pieni di sale non avrebbero superato il test. Anche se gli orientamenti non avevano forza di legge, erano comunque una disgrazia per big food. E la first lady. Negli anni successivi big food ha ottenuto una serie impressionante di vittorie.

Se il governo vuole regolamentare i Cafo, prima di tutto deve sapere dove sono questi allevamenti e quanti animali ospitano. Ma forse big food ha ottenuto la sua vittoria più importante in una battaglia che non ha nemmeno dovuto combattere. Per qualche motivo, tuttavia, ha deciso di non chiamare in causa uno dei settori più responsabili di emissioni: Esiste anche una componente culturale, e qui big food ha un grande problema, che è stato aggravato da alcune delle vittorie politiche ottenute dal settore negli ultimi anni e che è destinato a peggiorare.

È una posizione scomoda per il settore, ed è per questo che molte aziende rappresentate dalla Gma hanno provato invano a nascondere il loro coinvolgimento in questa battaglia. La mancanza di trasparenza è destinata a creare siducia, e questo potrebbe danneggiare il capitale più prezioso nelle mani di big food: Queste battaglie hanno mostrato le prime crepe nella facciata del potere di big food, punti deboli che alcuni attivisti hanno capito come sfruttare.

Ma i produttori non si sono mai piegati. Invece di prendersela con un gruppo di produttori senza nome, che non avevano niente da perdere respingendo le loro richieste, i lavoratori hanno cominciato a prendere di mira i grandi marchi di big food che compravano i loro pomodori: Nel la coalizione ha preparato la bozza di un Fair Food Agreeement accordo sul cibo equo che prevede un aumento di un centesimo per libbra di prodotto raccolta e deinisce nuovi standard sulle condizioni di lavoro.

La coalizione è riuscita a ottenere risultati che sarebbe stato impossibile raggiungere a Washington. Sotto questo grande ombrello ci sono difensori dei diritti degli animali che litigano con gli agricoltori sostenibili; attivisti contro la fame nel mondo che contestano il tentativo dei sostenitori della salute pubblica di escludere le bevande gassate e le merendine dalla lista dei beni acquistabili con i buoni alimentari; ambientalisti che litigano sui cambiamenti climatici con gli allevatori di bestiame sostenibili.

Chiamarlo movimento è un atto di generosità e di speranza. Tutte le volte che gli Obama hanno provato a stuzzicare big food, hanno dovuto cedere al potere delle lobby. Perché il movimento per il cibo non è ancora una forza politica riconosciuta a Washington. Non ha ancora la struttura organizzativa né le truppe per far suonare il centralino della Casa Bianca o del congresso quando si discute di uno dei suoi temi.

Attacchi personali Il potere del movimento per il cibo sta nella forza delle sue idee e nel fascino delle sue aspirazioni: Un primo esempio è la reazione al documentario Food, Inc. Cosa succederà quando queste persone cominceranno a influenzare le politiche e le leggi? Fu in quel periodo che i miei impegni come relatore nelle università cominciarono a subire cambiamenti improvvisi di programma.

Un invito della Washington state university, che aveva organizzato una lettura di uno dei miei libri, fu improvvisamente ritirato, uicialmente per problemi di costi ma secondo i giornali su richiesta di un produttore di grano che faceva parte del consiglio di facoltà. Quella debolezza è la coscienza del consumatore, che negli ultimi dieci anni ha cominciato a interessarsi di questioni come la provenienza del cibo, i metodi di produzione e le conseguenze delle nostre scelte alimentari sul pianeta, sulle braccia che ci danno da mangiare, sugli animali che mangiamo e, sempre di più, sul clima.

Anche se sono ancora una minoranza, i consumatori statunitensi che si interessano a queste questioni non si idano di big food e riiutano i suoi prodotti. Potremmo chiamarla little food. Ecco perché le aziende stanno comprando marchi biologici e artigianali, sperando di scoprire il segreto del loro successo che non è un segreto: Uno dei possibili sviluppi della politica per il cibo potrebbe essere quello delle campagne dal basso indirizzate non contro i politici ma direttamente contro big food, prendendo di mira il suo punto debole: Nonostante la delusione, va riconosciuto agli Obama di aver dato visibilità e sostegno a little food.

Sembra molto improbabile che il nuovo presidente possa rappresentare una minaccia altrettanto grande. Donald Trump dice pubblicamente di amare il fast food, mentre Hillary Clinton ha rapporti di vecchia data con la grande industria alimentare: A Washington la politica e le leggi raramente si muovono prima della società.

Di Michael Pollan, estratti "Internazionale", anno 23, n. Compilati e adattati per essere postato per Leopoldo Costa. Enquête sur une révolution silencieuse.

En fait, la France ne sait plus trop à quelle sauce elle doit déguster ses repas auxquels elle reste attachée, pourtant, au moins le soir. Une chose est sûre: Il est vrai que les nouvelles concernant la qualité des produits alimentaires ne sont pas bonnes.

La semaine dernière encore, une étude divulguée par Générations Futures a révélé que les mueslis non-bio, mélanges de fruits secs et de céréales, très consommés par les enfants, révélaient une présence importante de résidus de pesticides perturbateurs endocriniens.

Des cocktails dont on commence à mesurer les dégâts sur la santé cancers hormono-dépendants, intolérances, allergies, troubles de la croissance ou du sommeil Dans la foulée, Marisol Touraine, ministre de la Santé, a réagi en proposant de fixer une limite globale pour tous les pesticides présents dans les aliments… Cela existe pour les eaux de boisson, mais, étrangement, pas pour la nourriture.

Certains signes ne trompent pas: Il a ouvert cette année, à Rungis, un comptoir au carreau des producteurs ne valorisant que des produits made in Ile-de-France. La viande subit aussi cette exigence de qualité et de proximité. Le prix mais aussi les campagnes contre la souffrance animale commencent à avoir un impact sur une partie de la population, notamment les ans qui se tournent facilement vers le végétarisme. Elle a travaillé toute sa vie sur le moringa, notamment dans les pays en voie de développement car la plante est reconnue pour ses qualités nutritives.

Le retour du burger, par exemple, mais dont la viande sera bio ou labellisée. Elle représente aussi la grosse majorité des livraisons à domicile.

Mais là aussi les grandes marques de référence de la junk food se voient obligées de repenser leurs approvisionnements, plus locaux, et même certaines de leurs recettes. Dactylographié et adapté pour être posté par Leopoldo Costa. Mais, au fait, pourquoi compte-t-on plus de sorcières que de sorciers? Voilà des questions qui obsèdent Jakob Sprenger et surtout Henricus Institoris nom latinisé de Heinrich Krämer , auteurs du terrible Marteau des sorcières , le plus célèbre des traités de démonologie À la fin du Moyen Âge, voir dans la femme la principale et malheureuse auxiliaire de Satan ne va pas de soi.

De même, beaucoup de femmes, vieilles et expérimentées, aident aux accouchements et concoctent en secret des potions abortives. Les sorciers suscitent donc crainte et respect, mais, en cas de crise, ils fournissent aussi des boucs émissaires à la vindicte populaire.

Mais, au XVe siècle, la perception de la sorcellerie évolue rapidement. Mais sieceuxci ont les moyens de faire parler les suspects, et surtout les suspectes, qui tombent entre leurs griffes.

La Pucelle atelle gardé sur elle une mandragore plante magique qui est censée attirer la fortune? Atelle fréquenté cet Arbre Michée Chauderon est la dernière femme à avoir été exécutée pour sorcellerie dans la république protestante de Genève, le 6 avril Mise à nue et rasée selon la procédure usuelle, elle est piquée en différents endroits du corps par des médecins qui ne trouvent pas la marque du diable.

Après , quelques femmes seront encore poursuivies pour sortilège à Genève, mais plus aucune ne sera exécutée, et le sortilège, comme en France, ne tardera pas à être décrimi nalisé. En , un vague bout de chemin a reçu son nom à Genève ; et en , on a même organisé en son honneur une sorte de procès de réhabilitation à grand spectacle.

Last year my mother turned 70, and, in a mood of giddy nostalgia, she brought out an old college-ruled notebook: But I am a writer, and she is a chemist.

For the Kaufmans and Hurleys; do you remember them? But I did remember that salmon mousse. Pink, jiggling, molded in the curved shape of a fish.

She considered this, sipping her red wine. First, the adventurous period of youth: And the recent era of rediscovered adventure: Thai food and mango salad, taken from one of her cookbooks. Old friends came and went in her journal. New favorites joined the rotation. And there is my father, who, despite being her ex-husband, appeared every year or so after their divorce, including on the most recent page: In it, there is no menu planning.

Often I get the date wrong. That is because, while my mother has always written in her journal before a dinner party, I write in mine afterward. There are almost no repetitions and no salmon mousse of my own. It is all variables. Hers pass from early motherhood through divorce and the deaths of friends without a break. I, on the other hand, have three entire years unaccounted for.

Was I too content to put anything down? My journal chronicles the meals of a moody, passionate person; hers are efficient and calm. I see her journals and am envious: By 45, I should not be winging it at dinner. I should learn to plan a menu. I should practice with old favorites. I should have a salmon mousse. And so I am putting this resolution into practice at a dinner party for writer friends.

The menu is already written in my book—chicken with sunchokes and spinach salad. To start, a favorite of mine already curing in the fridge: And for this I must apologize to my mother: It is as close as I can get. I love you; I do. But I have always hated that salmon mousse. Traditionally, making use of every part of an animal was a way of life, as well as ensuring a source of protein throughout the lean winter months.

It is the cured fat from the back of the Cinta Senese pig, a traditional Tuscan breed, often sold in a thick chunk or in fine slices like this. Cured in salt, pepper and a mixture of herbs which impart a subtle flavour, it can be made into tasty crostini, served as part of an antipasti platter in wafer-thin strips or as a topping to season hot dishes.

Creamy and buttery in texture, this lardo has hints of hazelnut alongside its slightly sweet, herby flavour.

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