What I’m writing today, and why


I’m writing a book. Not that that’s anything to write about but the subject is. The book is about how we feed cities. In some minds, this will be a book about food logistics or the food supply chain. But those terms can be mind-numbing and I’m hoping that my readers will be on fire with curiosity about how food moves from farms to tables, how food gets places, who delivers it and how. As a newcomber to this topic, I’ll need some help to find what aspects of this story are interesting and worthy of my readers’ time. I hope you’ll help.

The process of writing a book is usually a solitary task. That would be the way I’ve written books up to this point. As I spend days putting words on pages this time, I’m hoping to share what I discover about the subject and how I’m thinking about it.

Most days I’ll write a short note about what I’m writing along with some ideas and questions about topic.

Today I wrote about space and the geography of food. Really abstract in some ways and dangerously theoretical. These days we think of food in terms of the distance between us and the producer, often in terms of local and global. Today, while reading The Geography of Wholesaling by James Vance, I was wondering how to write about space, geography, and distance, as something we both perceive and imagine. Imagine that we think about food as local, but the distances defining local are imagined. Or if we meet a farmer through a video chat, we may feel closer to his or her farm. Do you think of the geography of our food system as something physical or conceptual?

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