Thursday, February 10, 2011

Traditional vs Modern

Whilst out on the wandersome journey of my daily musings I happened to peruse a Wikipedia entry on Fermentation.
(I was checking to see if sauerkraut is fermented)
(My brain takes me neat/odd/curious places)

Risks of consuming fermented foods

Alaska has witnessed a steady increase of cases of botulism since 1985. Despite its small population, it has more cases of botulism than any other state in the United States of America.[12] This is caused by the traditional Eskimo practice of allowing animal products such as whole fish, fish heads, walrus, sea lion and whale flippers, beaver tails, seal oil, birds, etc., to ferment for an extended period of time before being consumed. The risk is exacerbated when a plastic container is used for this purpose instead of the old-fashioned method, a grass-lined hole, as the botulinum bacteria thrive in the anaerobic conditions created by the air-tight enclosure in plastic.[12]

So there you have it... sometimes it's better to store things in a grassy hole in the ground than in a plastic airtight container.

Old ways are not necessarily bad ways, and traditional methods evolved over time can have many merits. ;)

ps the indigenous peoples of the Canadian North prefer the term Inuit.
pps In Alaska the term Eskimo is not seen as perjorative (as it is in Canada) because it includes both the Inuit and the Yupik peoples. Wiki link on Eskimos

Oh heck I'll also include a silly tongue-in-cheek drawing that I made awhile back :)

2 comments:

Nathan said...

Good observation, and love that drawing :)

Was reading about the differences between "hard" and "soft" arts and objects in traditional cultures. For example they'd weave intricate baskets loaded with spiritual connotations and expert craftsmanship meant only for short-term use and disposal, mainly for storing or transporting food and water, a "soft" art which also facilitates air flow etc, like the grass-lined holes, as opposed to the "hard" modern plastics, a technology which like guns and metal tools etc has an impact on native culture, perhaps more harmful than beneficial in ways.

The take-home message is that we are like baskets, our lives meant to last only a little while, our bodies to break apart and return to the ground in the end. Well, unless you're in California and have "plastic" surgery that is ;)

Jordan said...

Thank you Nathan!
And thank you for sharing your thoughts and musings from recent readings! :D

There is a great awareness in realizing the transient nature of life and that we all move along a similar path :)

I was just reminded of Ozymandius. :D

Great plastic surgery comment ;) haha I think living in the rainforest helps to remind us of the cycle of life and death and life :)