There’s a scene in Terry Gilliam’s 1991 movie “The Fisher King” in which a man plucks the discarded wire cage from a champagne bottle off a pile of garbage bags as he walks down a New York City street with a woman he is trying to impress. He fiddles with the wire in his hands as they walk, eventually holding up what looks like a delicate and beautiful little metal chair, fit for a dollhouse. “You can find some pretty amazing things in the trash,” he says to her. She is smitten.
That transformation of a piece of trash into a thing of beauty transfixed me then, and still does. When I traveled to Cuba a few weeks ago, on a food sovereignty study trip with Food First, I had the opportunity to be transfixed again and again. Read more