Joan Menefee

Joan Menefee is a member-owner of the Menomonie Market Food Co-op in Menomonie, Wisconsin. She teaches literature and writing at University of Wisconsin-Stout and blogs about wild food at

Given the complexity of people’s lives, it is easy to see why we eat on auto-pilot.
When we debate local food's value and necessity, it seems we must confront the reasons long-distance foods enthrall us.
The world is vast and I am sometimes weary; the grain part of “eat local” has not occupied my attention as it should.
Foraging, in a world out of touch with reality, seems like a good occupation. It reminds me of what people used to know.
When you make friends with people, you make friends with their dreams. Recently, I got to walk inside my friend’s dreams.
I am fond of foods that defy boundaries, like rhubarb, ones which grab an eater’s cheeks and pinch them from the inside.
When I was young, I ate ahistorically. I can hardly imagine worrying about my food choices. Food was just food.