The Foodies vs. Big Food

How has reading a book club book influenced your everyday life?

Farmers Market Strawberries

Around this time last year, we read Barbara Kingsolver’s inspiring Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a documentation of her family’s yearlong effort to eat locally sourced food (much of which they grew themselves). I’d always been a fan of our local farmers markets and co-ops, and since reading the book have committed myself to being conscious of where my food comes from. Reflecting over the past year, I’ve canned numerous times (last weekend’s project: strawberry rhubarb jam), make my own yogurt, and signed up for my first CSA share this summer.

This month’s Atlantic magazine has an article by David Freedman, “How Junk Food Can End Obesity: Demonizing processed food may be dooming many to obesity and disease. Could embracing the drive-thru make us all healthier?” Freedman outlines a critique of the Foodies and posits that embracing Big Food will have a greater impact towards curbing obesity than the slow food movement will:

Despite the best efforts of a small army of wholesome-food heroes, there is no reasonable scenario under which these foods could become cheap and plentiful enough to serve as the core diet for most of the obese population—even in the unlikely case that your typical junk-food eater would be willing and able to break lifelong habits to embrace kale and yellow beets.

This was a challenging read, and one I’d  recommend for reading. There are a couple of excellent counter-posts at Mother Jones and SalonThe question I came back to after reading through everything: is there room for both Big Food and Foodies in this?

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