A Local Food Project in Pennsylvania: First in a Series

by dooglas carl
December 11, 2017
1st in a series on local food
Locally sourced salads, cheese and beers at a small brewpub in
Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of douglas carl. 

Food. We eat it, drink it, socialize around it, enjoy it, critique it, take pictures of it, and then expel it. Food is an integral part of our existence, as we need it to survive, so it holds a place of utmost importance in our lives. Despite this central position of significance to our survival and social cohesion, people increasingly are distanced from the origins of the food that they eat. In our current era, food exists as a conundrum: it holds a central and a necessary part in human life, yet for many there is a magic to food, as it seemingly appears out of thin air in our grocery stores, quickie marts and restaurants. There exists a disconnect between what we put in our bellies and where that food originates and how it's created. There are also people, organizations and businesses working to change that lack of understanding and bridge the disconnect.

Personally, food has found a central part of my own life. Outside of need, I have worked in kitchens, bakeries, and fields, all places where food is grown, created, transformed, and made ready for consumption. As an anthropologist, my work around health issues always included the threads of food. From documenting local food practices, to studying the effects of school garden programs on students and their communities, to exploring the role of food in keeping people healthy, even when the overall study aim was something else, food always found a role in the story.

taming the wild human

by d00g on March 27, 2016
I was reading a short essay by Brian Doyle in the Sun magazine in which he described language as something wild, made of the natural world, something living, and with an awareness of its own. It lead me to thinking about the wild and its relationship with me - with us humans. The Wild. The wild within us humans. The idea of the wild part of ourselves - the animal, the natural, the other - made me consider where that wild is within me, and how it's so easy to be lost in the day to day of our lives that we allow ourselves to overlook that integral part of ourselves. The wild...


and really, what else can there be....?
but the start and finish.
beginnings and ends are actually a false duality. the start and the finish are not mutually exclusive. therefor something can start, and no other change is needed. something can end, and no other change is needed. the start of things continues the evolution of who we are as beings. as do the ends of things. ends and beginnings occur at any time and are ongoing.



by d00g on February 28, 2014

Recycled Minds was a labor of love for over eight years from 2005-2013, a stretch of life that paralleled my years in graduate school studying anthropology. For the most part, it was a satisfying labor, as I had begun to develop a recognized voice online, at least among those with an ear on the ground for anthropological musings. It was also a little bit bigger than me, as I was able to bring on some regular contributors, a number of great guest columns, and even a monthly virtual art show that featured artists from around the country. There was a moment when I thought Recycled Minds might grow bigger than the few of us working on it.

Running Anthropology

Views from the ANThill
by douglas reeser on December 30, 2014

Running can lead to bonding with other runners and the community through which you run.
Photo courtesy of Larry D. Moore
If the number of people running races is any indication, the act of running continues to grow in popularity in the U.S. According to the State of the Sport by Running USA, "Over the past 20 years, every year, except 2003, set a new high in the number of finishers in U.S. running events." In 2012, there were a record 15,534,000 race finishers and a record 26,370 running events in the U.S. alone." That's 5% of the U.S. population that finished a race, and the actual number of runners in the U.S. would far surpass this percentage, as not every runner competes in a race. Clearly, running is quite popular in the U.S., and with the continued surge in the sport that really gained mainstream acceptance in the 1960s there has been a subsequent rise of a running culture.


November 1, 2014
Recycled Minds is on an indefinite hiatus. Thanks to all who have read and participated in what we have done here.

Student Loans and Life Post-Graduate-School

Is Recycled Minds back from the dead? Am I? Or is student debt going to
bury me?
Picture: "Dance of Death" by Michael Wolgemut
Views from the ANThill
by douglas carl reeser on May 13, 2014

Back from the dead?


It's been a while since I or anyone else has written here for Recycled Minds - 6 months to be exact. And it's a shame really. We had a pretty good thing going, with a growing interest in guest contributions, and the inspiring evolution of our Picture Show, which was gaining the attention of artists and photographers from around the globe. The site was the product of organic growth combined with the labor of love, and since 2005 had gained a small but regular following.

Last fall, however, our core group of editors hit a series of transitions and life changes and Recycled Minds took a back seat to greater demands. I took a position 1500 miles away, while at the same time attempting to focus in on the completion of my dissertation. So while my writing here slowed down to a halt, I was reading and writing non-stop for months, first to get a draft done, and finally to complete what turned out to be a book-length manuscript about health care and the neoliberal State in Belize.