Top | Sift

Whose food is it, anyway?

(article, Kim Carlson)

From the Financial Times via Eating Liberally and The Ethicurean, we have this curious Collin Peterson quote:

bq.“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says ‘organic’ or ‘local’. Far be it from me to understand what that’s about, but that’s reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.”

Hallelujah? 

Even though sales of organic foods are growing by a huge percentage yearly (between 17 and 21 percent per year over the last decade, says The Ethicurean), Peterson — who happens to be head of the House committee on agriculture — seems flummoxed about these purchases. 

Fortunately, there are other Congressional representatives, such as Oregon's Earl Blumenauer, who are listening to people who want to connect a better and more just Farm Bill with increased funding for organics, conservation, and nutrition.

Unfortunately, Earl's not even on the ag committee. Grrr.

Here's another Peterson quote, this time from a few weeks ago in the San Francisco Chronicle, as reported on Eating Liberally:

bq."Us guys in farm country, we don't know a thing about the big cities and we're not about to tell them what to do . . . and these big city editorial writers and others don't have a clue about what's going on in agriculture, and they ought to keep out of our business."

Uh, Collin? Everybody — big city, little city, Gotham City, off the grid — everybody_ eats. Even your aides, those line cooks in the congressional kitchen. 

Shame on you for making this an us-them issue. Good food should concern us all.