A Foodie Repents

That's the subtitle of an interesting article at the New Yorker by John Lanchester.  He drives home the point I also made in the Food Police that food choices have often become political statements.  Here's one snippet:

I’m thrilled by this notion [that food choices are charged with political significance], and yet I find that I can’t submit to it. For a start, we can’t feed the whole world this way. Today, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities—which is a positive development, because, from an environmental point of view, density is good. At the same time, that world population, according to the United Nations, is heading for a total just below eleven billion by the century’s end. We can manage this, probably, but we can’t do so without industrial agriculture. This doesn’t negate the individual virtue of our consumer choices, but it does mean they take us only so far toward making a better world. If shopping and cooking really are the most consequential, most political acts in my life, perhaps what that means is that our sense of the political has shrunk too far—shrunk so much that it fits into our recycled-hemp shopping bags. If these tiny acts of consumer choice are the most meaningful actions in our lives, perhaps we aren’t thinking and acting on a sufficiently big scale. Imagine that you die and go to Heaven and stand in front of a jury made up of Thomas Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Your task would be to compose yourself, look them in the eye, and say, “I was all about fresh, local, and seasonal.”