Foodie Elitists Anyone?

Note* This article was originally written but never published by me several years ago before I took a break from this blog. I have decided to go ahead and post it now, because now that the weather is getting better we (at least I do) begin to look locally again for my food source. Since moving back from arid Arizona I now have fresh  fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy local to me at an affordable rate, which in something I took for granted before moving west. So I thought that since it was on my mind and plate lately I would share this article to give another reason for more insight into the why behind all of this. 

Are you a “food snob” or “food elitist”? If being one means that you actually care about what goes in your mouth then according to big food business you must be. Check out this article published by The Washington Post about why some of the bigger players in our “Real Food Revolution” are essentially being name called. They are being targeted because they go against big corporations with their fact based opinions on how we as an American population are killing our small family farms while giving money to the major industrialized farms that utilize deplorable farming practices to get more food on our tables with less nutrition and more waste in our landfills.

” The “elitist” epithet is a familiar line of attack. In the decade since my book “Fast Food Nation” was published, I’ve been called not only an elitist, but also a socialist, a communist and un-American. In 2009, the documentary “Food, Inc.,” directed by Robby Kenner, was described as “elitist foodie propaganda” by a prominent corporate lobbyist. Nutritionist Marion Nestle has been called a “food fascist,” while an attempt was recently made to cancel a university appearance by Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” who was accused of being an “anti-agricultural” elitist by a wealthy donor.

This name-calling is a form of misdirection, an attempt to evade a serious debate about U.S. agricultural policies. And it gets the elitism charge precisely backward. America’s current system of food production — overly centralized and industrialized, overly controlled by a handful of companies, overly reliant on monocultures, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, chemical additives, genetically modified organisms, factory farms, government subsidies and fossil fuels — is profoundly undemocratic. It is one more sign of how the few now rule the many. And it’s inflicting tremendous harm on American farmers, workers and consumers. “

The article goes on to talk about the meat-packing industry and how there are only a few plants that are responsible for roughly 85% of America’s meat up from about 20% and is now one of the lowest paid industries, where as it used to be on of the highest.

Another thing that was pointed out in this article was about how nearly HALF of the meat from large factories may be contaminated with anti-biotic resistant bacteria. There is no wonder considering that nearly 80% of anti-biotic sales go to livestock to speed their growth and treat them with preventable diseases .

Not that it’s my intent to ruin you from all factory processed meat (because hey we’re not all perfect all the time nor do we need to be) but I think you will think about that the next time you pick up that juicy steak at the grocery store, or that hamburger meat that uses aging roast meat as a filler or, the next time you bite into a fat injected sugar filled quarter-pounder at McDonald’s, or allow your kid’s to eat school lunch meat, especially now with all our “revisions” to the school meal system. Instead of giving yourself a guilt trip over the past look to the future for change and think about the New York Times Article that talks about how the meat is treated with AMMONIA. This USDA approved practice is done so salmonella and E. Coli amounts are reduced.

“The company, Beef Products Inc., had been looking to expand into the hamburger business with a product made from beef that included fatty trimmings the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. The trimmings were particularly susceptible to contamination, but a study commissioned by the company showed that the ammonia process would kill E. coli as well as salmonella.

Officials at the United States Department of Agriculture endorsed the company’s ammonia treatment, and have said it destroys E. coli “to an undetectable level.” They decided it was so effective that in 2007, when the department began routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public, they exempted Beef Products.”

With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, the company’s processed beef has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef last year alone.” See the New York Times Article for more

YUM! So, if caring about what I feed my family makes me a “foodie elitist” that I am proud to wear that label and so should you.

As you read this post and hopefully pass it along please know that I am not writing this to gross people out or to use scare tactics. I am posting this so create a discussion and thinking as where and how we as a nation and as individuals are getting our food.  And always to encourage people to VOTE WITH YOUR FORKS! Eat fresh and local produce, clean grass-fed meat processed locally, and grass-fed dairy.  Learn where more of your food is coming from and HOW it got there. It’s not as tough as you think!

Sources:

  • Washington Post Article “Why being a foodie isn’t elitist” By Eric Schlosser, Published: April 29 (Eric Schlosser is the author of “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal” and a co-producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Food, Inc.”)
  • New York Times Article “Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned ” by MICHAEL MOSSPublished: December 30, 2009 ( Griff Palmer contributed reporting. A version of this article appeared in print on December 31, 2009, on page A1 of the New York edition.)
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