Sunday, September 13, 2009

Food for the masses

Since I have moved into a real house with a real kitchen (though neither is terribly glamorous or state-of-the-art), I have been trying to eat less pre-prepared, processed food (though I still have a weakness for frozen pizza and potato chips) and do more of my own cooking.  The effect that sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer screen for a living has had on my body in the last two and a half years also has me trying to eat less junk.

Having a madly tomato-ing (to the point that I have no idea what I would do if there were more than one), gargantuan tomato plant outside providing me with an abundance of wonderful, fresh tomatoes every day makes me want to grow more of my own food and patronize more local farmers.

In the various and sundry food reading I have done in the last year or so, I have been waiting for someone to summarize what I think really needs to be done to get people to really eat (and not just consume) food.  I always knew that the trick was implementation.  How to get good food, real food to everyone and not just those who can afford it.  After all, I have what I consider to be a decent paying job, even living as I do in a part of the country with a dauntingly high cost of living, and I frequently feel as if *I* can't afford it.

Today, I read the following paragraph from Julie Powell's Julie/Julia Project blog, and she summed it up for me clearly and concisely with some lovely real world examples, so I thought I would share.

"It seems to me – and I've been thinking about this quite a bit – that any revolution in food and agricultural has to be two pronged.  Yes, by all means, extol the virtues of the artisanal this and organic that, patronize the small farmers and the renegade cheese-makers, if you can afford it.  But the goal is to make good food available toeveryone, isn't it?  And that means doing more than opening a hoity-toity restaurant.  That means lobbying and teaching and bringing the food to Mohammed, and otherwise getting your hands dirty.  Get the peach to the inner city kids killing themselves with Krispy Kremes.  Get the peach to the 22-year-old mother of three living off welfare checks, dependent on the Bargain Market in the strip mall.  Do that – and I don't know how you do – and you've really got something. "

  --Julie Powell in her blog about the Julie/Julia Project on March 18th, 2003.  The complete entry is here if you care to read it.

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