Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.
The top food story being tweeted around this past week is Eric Schlosser's essay in the Washington Post, “Why Being a Foodie Isn't Elitist.” The author of Fast Food Nation is responding to another wave of politicians and ag-industry representatives calling the sustainable-food movement “elitist.” Schlosser responds:
This name-calling is a form of misdirection, an attempt to evade a serious debate about U.S. agricultural policies. And it gets the elitism charge precisely backward. America's current system of food production ― overly centralized and industrialized, overly controlled by a handful of companies, overly reliant on monocultures, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, chemical additives, genetically modified organisms, factory farms, government subsidies and fossil fuels ― is profoundly undemocratic.
While Schlosser points out a few new details to make the blood boil (“The wages of some migrants, adjusted for inflation, have dropped by more than 50 percent since the late 1970s”), I found the essay unsatisfying. It's yet another sermon pitched to the converted ― one more recitation of the sins of the world, one more call for personal salvation. It may help the believers feel justified, but in terms of converting the nonbelievers, it's not much more effective than testifying in front of BART with a microphone and an amp.