Saturday, April 10, 2010

What's Really Going On

The politics of food is really big right now, which is just great. There's much talk of a food crisis. Seven million people watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. There's an organic garden at the White House. It's an exciting time to be a food producer. We feel like Cinderella - maybe we'll actually get to dance with the Prince at last.

But you know, it isn't really a food crisis that we're having, no, not so much...America is having an identity crisis, a values crisis that we are projecting onto food. Everybody who's ever been a teenage girl knows that eating disorders are not actually about the food. It's about all the other stuff, the feelings we can't quite handle. We're scared out of wits because everything we see around us seems to depend on burning fossil fuel. Our cars, our clothes, our food, our houses. Our entire way of life. We get that out-of-control feeling.

We're a nation with an eating disorder. Because we were and are living a lie. You actually can't have an economy based on the service sector because, hello, that makes no sense! We can't all play the stock market because the stock market has to be based on something. Monopoly money is not real, and just because it looks like food doesn't mean that it actually is.

But you know food is a very basic thing and if we can get that right, if we can remember what food looks and tastes like, if we can find some integrity there, maybe it's a start.

So there's an opportunity here for food producers to push for a food system that makes sense, to help to heal our wayward culture, to seize the moment and offer something better, and at the same time demand that our own lives and lifework be better recognized and rewarded.

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