Friday, September 05, 2014

What is this grain but blood and bones?

Recently, the Real Food Real Talk site asked several other writers and myself to answer briefly, "What does food justice mean to you?"

Much harder hitting than our answers, though, is this fierce reflection from the medieval poet Deschamps, written in the 14th century at a time when a popular working-class uprising had just been cruelly suppressed by the nobility.
"Therefore the innocent must die of hunger with whom these great wolves daily fill their maw," wrote Deschamps. "This grain, this corn, what is it but the blood and bones of the poor folk who have plowed the land? Wherefore their spirit crieth on God for vengeance. Woe to the lords, the councillors and all who steer us thus, and woe to all who are of their party, for no man careth now but to fill his bags." 
From In a Distant Mirror, by Barbara Tuchman.

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