Megnut

How did ethics become a staple of contemporary food writing? An examination of the many recent food books, such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, from the Columbia Journalism Review. "Are, then, these debates about the ethics and politics of food largely a pastime of a tiny elite–grist for editors’ dinner parties but of tiny relevance to most consumers, who rush to the nearest market and grab what they need?" Or do they indicate a profound change underway in America around what we grow and consume? [thanks Kathleen!]

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My own objections to some industrial organics are not that that they are large companies that may be hurting small farmers, but the way they are often marketed.
Horizon Dairy, for example, markets its "happy cows" and prints a smiling cow on every container. But many or most of their cows are kept in a fashion similar to conventional unhappy cows. (Perhaps anthropomorphizing animals is part of the problem. I'm reminded of many of the anti-foie gras arguments.)
Or Woodstock Farms, which displays a red barn amid green farm fields but produces very little of its own products.

I'm hoping that these books and articles are indicative of a larger change. I'm very conscious about what I eat and where that food comes from, and I don't want to think of myself as being part of a minority of hoity-toity people. There is nothing snobbish about questioning the ethics of food -- shouldn't we all be concerned about what we use to fuel our bodies?

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