Kathleen Alcalá

The Clueless Eater

In pursuit of the perfect carrot

June 18, 2010

I have been writing about food recently. Not restaurant reviews or recipes or diets, but where our food comes from. I decided to concentrate on where the food on Bainbridge Island originates: what grows, who grows it, how those of us who eat here obtain it.

This has led to a series of interviews with farmers and food sellers. Each of them has a philosophy, a guiding light or experience, and each feels that the work of bringing food into the world and onto our plates is very important – maybe the most important thing anyone can do right now.
I have a lot of notes from my conversations. Each question raises new questions. Each person I meet brings a different perspective to the table.

“I wish Microsoft could get rid of BP” someone said to me today. I decided that the antidote to BP is not another giant corporation, but the people who care about raising good food by ethical standards.

As I learn more about these people, and the micro-environment of living and eating on an island, I will share a thing or two. And I will continue my pursuit of the perfect carrot.
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Selected Works

Creative nonfiction, memoir, environmental sustainability.
Combining memoir, historical records, and a blueprint for sustainability, The Deepest Roots shows us how an island population can mature into responsible food stewards and reminds us that innovation, adaptation, diversity, and common sense will help us make wise decisions about our future. And along the way, we learn how food is intertwined with our present but offers a path to a better understanding of the future.
Creative Nonfiction
Essays on Family and Writing

The Desert Remembers My Name makes an important contribution to discussions of ethnicity, identity, and the literature of place.”
Bloomsbury Review
Fiction
"...a mesmerizing tale... the author explores the fascinating confusions and contradictions plaguing a culture precariously poised between tradition and modernization."
Booklist
"She never forgot the power of storytelling as testimony."
The Utne Reader
"Kathleen Alcalá's Spirits of the Ordinary is an enthralling book..."
–Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Books

"This book entered my dreams."
–Alberto Rios
Short Fiction
"Thoroughly satisfying."
The New York Times Book Review

"By turns touching, entertaining, and surprising, and uniquely her own."
Publishers Weekly

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