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Thursday, April 30, 2009

 
The Real Food Craze

by tristero

It's just a detail, but a telling one, a tiny prelude to a near-certain media blitz of ridicule that will probably break soon. In a story about how local ordinances are changing to permit the limited raising of chickens, goats, and other food-producing animals within the bounds of a city, Peter Applebome types:
Of course, not many New Haven residents or Yale professors were raising chickens a few years ago. But some combination of the locavore craze...
What???? A locavore craze? Eating locally, which the human species did without exception for hundreds of thousands of years, that's now called a "craze?" The mind reels.

No, the real food craze is eating food made like this. It's a perfect example of a craze, an interest pursued with excessive enthusiasm - over 10 billion bucks of excessive enthusiasm - that can't, and won't, last. But eating this garbage is not only a craze. It's also crazy, and it's disgusting.*

But never mind. The "locavore craze" is code for dirty fucking hippie behavior - ie, stuff - like protesting an illegal and immoral war before it happens - that the Serious Ones needn't bother to take seriously. And you can expect more of the same, and ever more direct disparagement of eating healthfully and sensibly the more popular the Obamas' garden gets - and the more unpopular Republican-linked polluters like Smithfield become.* I predict that the silly and gently self-disparaging label "foodie" will be twisted to rival "politically correct" as a putdown, guaranteed to short circuit serious discussions of how truly horrible the food production and distribution industries are.

---

* It is a common rejoinder; Those of us who are appalled that people are eating deliberately sickened animals raised full time packed tightly in their own shit and piss are told we want to "impose vegetarianism" on everyone. Not true. I am a vegetarian. My wife and daughter are not. I wouldn't dream of imposing my diet on them or anyone else and I make no claims that being vegetarian is intrinsically more healthful or "moral" than any other way of eating.

That said, last night, I printed out the Rolling Stone article linked to above and asked my family to please consider not eating factory-raised beef, pork, or chicken (in fact, for the most part, they already don't). Between farmer's markets and specialty stores, you can buy sensibly raised meat products at a fair price. Yes, it's more expensive, but treating health problems implicated by industrially-raised meats is far more so.

** A Smithfield subsidiary industrial hog farm was only 12 miles from La Gloria, the town believed to be the starting point of the Swine Flu strain that is sweeping the world; it is too early to say conclusively that the unbelievably unsanitary conditions there were a factor in the virus's incubation,. The company, naturally, denies they had anything to do with the swine flu, but several experts have pointed out that the proximity of the industrial farm to the outbreak merits close investigation. See brief discussion with links here.


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