I ran across a couple recent articles (via a e-news letter by Susan MacMillian) that did a good job encapsulating some of the core drivers of the modern food movement trends.
The first is a review by Benjamin Schwartz of Elizabeth Currid-Halkett's book, The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class. He argues that people (particularly the people he calls the "educated elite") have descended into a form of "consumer narcissism" in which "consumption becomes the dominant means of self-definition." He writes:
Currid-Halkett herself summarizes some of the main themes of the book in this piece in Aeon.
Here's an excerpt: