Almost by definition, resisting the insidious convenience of the mainstream food supply requires persistence. This is especially true for food projects requiring fermentation—projects that unfold over days or weeks and require day-to-day science in kitchens where variables can be hard to control and where some degree of periodic failure is almost inevitable. In this article, a team of writers—scholars and community members—dramatizes a joint inquiry from which emerged a composite portrait of what we have come to call mindful persistence—an existential yet collaborative engine that drives our food literacies. Dialogic text features highlight the situated insights of individual writers, indicating that while this team shares an interest in fermentation, this interest does not require or assume identical understandings of the science of fermentation or similar positions in the probiotic debate surrounding contemporary fermentation practices. Instead, what is shared is a mindful persistence that scaffolds reflective action in this dynamic problem space.
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