Host mom with food from market - Sidra Kennedy

Conectando con la Comida

La comida une a las personas. Estudiando de intercambio en Tecpán, Guatemala, me encuentro con un énfasis en las comidas hechas en casa y en locales que nunca experimenté en Estados Unidos.

Story by Sidra Kennedy. Translated by Leonardo Ismael Pérez Correa
United States, Northern America
Published on October 22, 2020

Reading time: 4 minutes

This story is also available in GB de it kr tr



Mi madre de acogida Guatemalteca está tomando puñados de masa de maíz cruda[1] para moldearla en círculos pequeños y hacer tortillas. Yo estoy volteando llantenes sobre aceite en la cocina mientras la admiro. Estamos haciendo el desayuno el día después de conocernos y aún no hemos tenido una conversación en la que podamos entender lo que estamos diciendo. Ella tenía que demostrar el acto de dar Vuelta los llantenes para que yo pudiese comprender el trabajo que se me había asignado. Ahora, cocinando a su lado, me siento más cerca a entenderla.

En la cultura Norteamericana donde yo crecí, la comida se tiende a ver como una necesidad, pero no como una forma de conectarse. Sin embargo, me estoy dando cuenta que casi todas las culturas y tradiciones tienen la comida como corazón. La comida une a las personas. Estudiando de intercambio en Tecpán, Guatemala, me encuentro con un énfasis en las comidas hechas en casa y en locales que nunca experimenté en Estados Unidos. Tecpán tiene un mercado local, donde vendedores vienen todos los días con sus productos. Los Domingos y los Jueves, el mercado ocupa la ciudad entera, lleno de vendedores de todos los pueblos vecinos. Frecuentemente pierdo de vista a mi anfitriona de menos de metro y medio de altura en esa multitud. Cada día visitamos los mismos puestos de comida. Mi anfitriona conversa con los granjeros locales que conoce, y selecciona cuidadosamente los mejores productos. Los frutos de los sembrados cambian todas las semanas. La selección de frutos cambia con las estaciones. Cada vez volvemos a casa con comida diferente para preparar.

De inmediato aprecio la comida fresca producida por el mercado local. Después, entiendo que el sistema es mejor para el medioambiente que las tiendas de comestibles con las que crecí. En las tiendas de comestibles Norteamericanas, los estantes están llenos de frutas y vegetales en casi exactamente la misma cantidad sin importar la estación. La capacidad de producir estas comidas “perfectas” en cualquier época del año es el resultado de organismos Transgénicos y de la importación en masa. Ambos sistemas están dañando al medioambiente. Encontrar alimentos libres de Transgénicos me hizo pensar en todos los productos Transgénicos que conformaban mi dieta estadounidense.

Me entero: Los Transgénicos son cultivos diseñados genéticamente por humanos. Están hechos para tener características deseables, como apariencia uniforme y una frescura que se mantiene intacta a pesar de largos viajes. Aunque éstas características hacen que los frutos sean accesibles a las tiendas, los cultivos requieren el uso de agroquímicos que dañan a los ecosistemas. La transportación en masa también quema cantidades enormes de combustibles fósiles que pueden perjudicar el cultivo doméstico.[2]

Por los dos meses que pasé en Guatemala, me encontré en medio de ideas sobre la comida. A través de educarme sobre la agricultura local y cocinando para construir relaciones con mi familia de acogida, fui testigo de como la comida conecta a las personas y de cómo puede destruir nuestro medioambiente. Pero en Tecpán, ví que tener buena comida para para la gente no tiene que ser mal para el medioambiente. Para mantener la cultura de la comida, debemos apuntar a crear sistemas basados en los ecosistemas globales y tradiciones, y menos dependientes en agroquímicos, combustibles fósiles y transgénicos. De vuelta en Norteamérica, extiendo la conexión que creé con mi familia de acogida en Guatemala, comprando comida fresca, local, y cocinando increíbles comidas con los que me rodean.


Notas

[1] La masa de maíz es maíz molido que se usa para hacer tortillas, chuchitos y otras comidas tradicionales en Guatemala.

[2] Para más información sobre los Transgénicos y el sistema de comida global: Committee on World Food Security “Genetically Modified Crops: Seeds of Hope or Deception?” (http://www.fao.org/cfs/home/blog/blog-articles/article/en/c/1104228/); Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN “Agricultural biotechnologies” (http://www.fao.org/biotech); La Via Campesina food sovereignty movement (https://viacampesina.org/en/); Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (https://afsafrica.org/); Book “Tomorrow’s Table” by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008)


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Sidra Kennedy

Sidra Kennedy

Hi!! I’m Sidra, I’m 19 years old and I’m from the United States. I love discovering new cultures and meeting new people. So far I have lived, worked and studied in the US, Guatemala, Thailand and Ghana, but I hope to expand and learn more. My passion is education and one day I hope to dedicate my life to trying to provide education to everyone in the world. But for now, I’m trying to experience as much of the world as I can!

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