James McWilliams has an interesting article in the Pacific Standard on how the food movement's ideals have fallen by the wayside in recent political discussions. As he notes, eight years ago when Obama was first running for office, the food movement was soaring. McWilliams argues that the food movement got derailed by fights about overly-simplistic dichotomies and food labels, which ultimately hindered their efforts and left consumers confused and activists demotivated.
The problem with these dichotomies are that they, firstly:
The final problematic outcome of past efforts, according to McWilliams, is:
While I do not fully buy into McWilliams vision for a future of farm and food policy (and I think he misdiagnoses the economic reasons why we grow so much "corn and soy — to feed a handful of animal species — mostly chickens and cows", his critique of the efforts of the food movement are insightful and spot on. Of course, there is another reason the grander visions of the food movement that involve "a new set of organizing principles" has failed to materialized. That vision isn't palatable to most farmers and consumers and would require a fair amount of coercion to achieve.
Regardless of the broader issues at play, McWilliams' article is highly recommended.