Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Is the Local Food Movement Elitist?

article by Sharon Astyk

Local food is elitist! This trumpets from one paper or another, revealing that despite the growing preoccupation with good food, ultimately, it is just another white soccer Mom phenomenon. Working class people (who strangely, the paper and the author rarely seem to care about otherwise) can't afford an organic chicken or a gallon of organic milk! Ordinary people don't have time to make soup. Regular folk don't care about that stuff - that's for brie-sniffing folks, just the next rich people's food fad.

I can think of a few hundred refutations of this claim, of course. There are all of my readers who are low income and struggling and still eat real food. There are the people who buy from me, mostly neighbors, mostly not affluent *at all* - they just want good food. There's us - we qualify for food stamps in our state most years. We don't need them - we are awash in good food, but we sure as heck aren't affluent. There's the composition of the farmer's market in my town and in the nearby cities - and of the coop and other local food resources. There's Red Hook Farm in Brooklyn and the local food movement in urban Detroit, and every other inner city food movement. There's the way local food infrastructure has burgeoned in a thousand low income rural areas, where the exchange of food is part of what keeps people alive. There are the immigrant community gardens and the fact that plenty of poor parents cook every night. There's plenty of evidence to the contrary.

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