Friday, January 04, 2008

Response to Amy Stewart of NPR

A recent NPR editorial by Amy Stewart titled "Shut Up and Eat" suggests that perhaps it is time to quit all this worrying about the source of our food and just belly up to the buffet again. Check the Eat Local Challenge site for responses from the authors there. Good stuff.

An excerpt of my response appears there, but here is the full text:
As Amy Stewart suggests in her editorial on NPR, we should all just stop thinking and talking about our food. Frankly, that kind of “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” attitude is how our food supply got into the sorry state it's currently in.

Does it truly make sense to just shut up and eat 30 million pounds of tainted meat? To idly push our grocery carts along the aisles filled with cheap processed foods that won’t break the bank account but bankrupt our nation nutritionally and environmentally? Wow, that’s a lot to swallow, Ms. Stewart.

I suppose if this approach makes sense, then I should also just quit thinking about global warming every time I hop into my SUV to drive a mile to the grocery store to buy peanut butter contaminated with Salmonella. After all, I am tired of hearing all the alarming news about global warming. It’s everywhere. Why can’t I just keep the pedal to the metal without all that bothersome stress and anxiety?

Or, how about the Iraq war? It’s all over the news, NPR in fact, every day. Gosh, I am sick of hearing about that. I should just think about something else besides our troops and the loss of innocent lives.

Human rights? Homelessness? Health care? Who needs to talk about those things? Why can’t we just gossip at the table instead?

Though, you are correct, Ms. Stewart, all this thinking sure does put a lot of stress and anxiety on that lettuce leaf of yours. But that may no longer be a worry. If we just don’t talk about the new Federal regulations for lettuce growers, you won’t be able to purchase lettuce from sustainable local sources anyway.

However, Ms. Stewart, if you’d like to shut up about local food, hey, I’m all for it.


Ed Bruske said...

A gardening pal of mine is a fellow blogger of Stewart's at Garden Rant, viewable here:

Stewart has also written some very good stuff about earthworms as heros of our soil ecosystem and more recently "Flower Confidential." I'd heard she was catching flak for her tongue wagging on local foods. Not sure where she's coming from with this...

Her Grace said...

I haven't yet read her article (on my way to now, though) but had to stop and say "three cheers!" for your response.

Ignorance is never an excuse. These are issues that demand our attention today.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Thanks, yes, I am not sure how someone who is outspoken on the need for local flower shops (NY Times Op Ed) could rant on local food. Sounds pretty hypocritical, especially for a person with a background in growing things.

frugalmom said...

Here Here! I am so with you on this. What the heck is she talking about? Out of sight,Out of mind? Come on, thats how we got into this mess.