Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Great Conversation

This past May as I sat in the audience at the Unity Church in Boulder, Colorado listening to Michael Pollan speak about food and the negative global impacts of cheap food for Americans I could not help but think him a bit pretentious. I do have incredible respect for his cause and his scholarly work in clearly explaining the whole story when it comes to the American food web, but asking cash-strapped regular folks to spend more on food pangs of self-righteousness.

The conversation that follows (below) provides a contrasting opinion to Pollan's but I do have to say Charlotte Allen sounds a bit too far out on the opposite slant. Her argument that the environmental problems associated with products made in China are China's problem is isolationist, selfish, and flat out juvenile. Geographical separation does not mean that our global resources/responsibilities are not shared.

Still, this conversation is one I find myself having with my own organic-food-loving friends. Right here in Fort Collins this very evening our local food co-op is having a community meeting to decide whether or not to buy into a national food co-op in order to get better prices on bulk organic products. Are we selling out to save a buck when we should be thinking about the farmers next door just scraping by as it is? In a population whose percentage of church-goers is dwindling (which I have no problem with) we have to ask ourselves as humanists where should we put our tiny bit of extra income if we have any at all that is. A convincing argument could be made to keep it as local as possible. How do we do that most effectively?

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