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quality vs. consistency


I often wonder how we became so complacent with the homogenized palate of offerings that are presented on the current industrial market. It seems that the battle for market share has created a sea of similar products separated only by presentation and marketing practices, creativity coming in the form of lip service rather than unique expression.

This trend is not new, in fact I believe that since the dawn of industrial food systems the wheels of production have been geared towards finding ways to selectively exclude ingredients that were more difficult to cultivate, harvest, and process into consumable goods distilling the complexities of nature. All signs point to the path of least resistance finding something that works in a myriad of applications with one simple goal consistency in the name profit.

Quality and Consistency become easily confused on the industrial palate, once a product has been tested and hits stride it can be reproduced mechanically ad nauseum in various iterations across vast distances and the fact that it has been widely accepted skews perception to the belief that as the recipe has been followed it must be of quality.

My belief is that quality comes outside the boundaries of repetition, that if we truly care to create something of value we must be constantly challenging ourselves to evolve the output to match our environment and question the morals with which we are producing. To me things lose value when they become commonplace, when season after season they come to the table offering the same version of themselves with no new form of inducing reflection.

The seasons have, since the beginning of time, offered points of anticipation. That first apple tastes so much better when we wait all season for the air to crisp and the harvest to begin. The quality shines through as nature intended by following its ques rather than trying to recreate them, the end product is a perfect representation of time and place coming together to create unique flavors based on a myriad of variabilities natural of source.

It may be wishful thinking to imagine a world where society takes a step back and places value in long bouts of anticipation for that truly unique flavor in trade for instant access to year round subpar gratification but I for one am willing to live my life in wait for those perfect moments.

What do you think?


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