Price, Sacrifice, and the Food Movement’s “Virtue” Problem

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /var/www/mgoblog/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/mgoblog/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 26.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/mgoblog/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 26.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/mgoblog/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 13.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /var/www/mgoblog/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /var/www/mgoblog/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 32.
Sep 15 2010

I'm not elitist, I just think you should reconsider whether your cell phones or Nike shoes or whatever it is you fat fucks spend your money on is really more important than eating heirloom beets. I just want you to make what I believe would be the more satisfying choice for you. Because I am the authority on what you find satisfying.

Urging others to eat better (and thus more expensive) food is not
[Alice Waters] said. It is simply a matter of quality versus quantity
and encouraging healthier, more satisfying choices. “Make a sacrifice
on the cellphone or the third pair of Nike shoes,”
she said.

The Price Paradox

One of the most frequent critiques of what has been called the “food revolution” and especially its de facto spokespeople, Alice Waters & Michael Pollan, is that the kind of food they want people to eat—fresh, organic, free-range, grass-fed, local, slow, “healthy” etc.—is generally more expensive than the alternatives: processed, conventional, caged, corn-fed, industrially-farmed, fast, “junk” food. For example, in an interview with DCist to promote his newest book, Anthony Bourdain said:

I'll tell you. Alice Waters annoys the living shit out of me. We're all in the middle of a recession, like we're all going to start buying expensive organic food and running to the green market. (interview with the DCIst)

Pollan and Waters have responded to this critique numerous times, and their standard defense goes something like this:

Pollan, nomming something virtuous, I'd wagerWell, $4 for a single peach or $8 for a dozen eggs isn’t really that expensive. The real problem is that government  subsidies have made junk food artificially cheap and confused us about the real price of food. Many people have discretionary income that should be spent on more expensive food that’s better for their health, the environment, animal welfare, etc. If consumers demand it, producers will find a way to provide it.

Michael Pollan, demonstrating his undeniable talent for reducing complicated issues to pithy sayings, has summarized this in his rule: “Pay more, eat less.” In essence, they suggest that good food should cost more. But then, on the other hand, they argue:

Local, organic, [yadda yadda] food is so self-evidently superior that the primary reason most people continue to choose crappy, industrially-produced fast food that destroys their health and the environment is because it’s just so much cheaper. Many people don’t have discretionary income, and therefore something needs to be done on a structural level—possibly an entire overhaul of the agricultural subsidy system—to make “real” food affordable enough for everyone. In other words, good food should cost less.

These aren’t wholly incompatible, and indeed, I suspect that many proponents of the “food revolution” support both: people who can should be willing to pay more for fresh, local, organic food now. At the same time, we should collectively pursue policies that make that kind of food cheaper until everyone can buy it.

But what if the problem isn’t cost?

As James Williams points out in a recent article in The Atlantic, “Should We Really Pay $4 for a Peach?”, what he calls “healthy food” like apples, dry beans, carrots, and celery have declined in price right along with cookies, ice cream, and potato chips over the last two and half decades. According to the Economic Research Service of the USDA, from 1980 to 2006—precisely the period when many people claim that fast food overtook our national diet and made us into the fattest people on the planet—food declined in price across the board, and crucially, “the price of a healthy diet has not changed relative to an unhealthy diet.” As Williams says:

Evidently, consumers have chosen to take advantage of the declining prices for the cookies rather than the apples, thereby undermining the claim that we choose cheap unhealthy food because it's cheap. As it turns out, we also choose it because we appear to like it better than cheap healthy food.

I take issue with the rhetorical move of collapsing American consumers—a diverse lot—into a single “we,” but even if what he says isn’t true for everyone, it must be true for a lot of people. I suspect that many proponents of food reform don’t want to believe that’s really the reason people continue eating “bad” industrially-processed junk because they have the special conviction of born-again religious zealots. Being converts themselves, many of them believe that all the unconverted masses need is to be enlightened the same way they were. They assume that once other people are “educated” about how superior organic, local, yadda yadda food is, they too will see the light.

But what if that’s not true? What if most people will remain skeptical about the supposed superiority of natural, organic, local, etc. food (often with good reason) or, more often, be simply indifferent to claims about its superiority, no matter how cheap and accessible it is? What if buying organic food really won’t be more satisfying to many people than a third pair of Nikes? (And could Waters have chosen a more racist or classist example of conspicuous consumption? Seriously, why not a flat-screen television or granite countertops?)

When Price IS King

from Sociological Images, click for link There’s an important caveat about the price issue that Williams left out: calorie for calorie, soda, candy, chips, and fast foods made with cheap meat, soybean oil, and white flour are significantly cheaper than apples and dried beans. For the roughly one in five Americans who lacked the money to buy the food they needed at some point in the last year, or the more than 49 million Americans categorized as “food insecure,” price may still be the dominant factor guiding their food choices.

I don’t think most food insecure people necessarily stand around in grocery store aisles looking at nutritional labels and crunching the numbers to figure out what will give them the highest caloric bang for their buck, the way Adam Drewnowski did. However, many of them probably stick to cheap, processed combinations of corn, wheat, and soy because they know they can afford enough of that to get by on, and because it tastes good to them.

In the somewhat-dated account of urban poverty There Are No Children Here, Alex Kotlowitz describes the monthly shopping ritual of a single mother on food stamps. She goes to the office where she gets her food stamps, and then goes directly to the store where she buys the same array of canned, boxed, bagged, and frozen foods every month. She has it down to a science. She knows exactly how many loaves of white bread, boxes of macaroni and cheese, cans of soup, pounds of ground beef and bologna, and bricks of generic American cheese it takes to to feed her family for a month on her government-allotted budget.

However, as those damned hipsters on food stamps have demonstrated, even people of limited means can produce the kinds of meals Alice Waters might smile upon. So why don’t they?

The Elision of Virtue and Sacrifice

As much as its proponents like to portray eating local, organic, yadda yadda food as a purely joyful and delicious celebration, there’s basically no getting around the fact that it takes a lot more work to turn fresh produce into a meal than it does to go through a drive-thru or microwave something frozen. I suspect that even most of the “food revolution” faithful rely on prepared foods and cheap take-out now and then, even if it’s more likely to be from Trader Joe’s or a local organic pizzeria instead of Walmart or Little Caesar's. The problem is not that the ingredients of a home-cooked meal, like $1.29/lb broccoli, are so much more expensive than dollar menu meals at McDonald’s, which is what Food, Inc. implies. The problem is that broccoli isn’t a ready-made meal.

My friend Patti made a similar point on her blog recently, noting that the recent initiatives to get fresh food into Detroit smack of race/class privilege. As a friend of hers said:

If he has $3 left til payday and payday is two days away, he’s going to the Golden Arches.  There’s no denying that you can get a meal for $3 versus some tomatoes and a banana.

Eating “right” according to the the (shifting and frequently conflicted) priorities of the “food revolution” requires effort and sacrifice—perhaps not a sacrifice of objective deliciousness for people who’d rather have a bowl of homemade chili than a burger any day of the week, but a sacrifice of familiar tastes and habits and the instant gratifications of foods composed primarily of sugar, starch, fat, and salt.

For the food revolution faithful, that sense of sacrifice isn’t a deterrent, but actually seems to be central to their perception that eating local, organic, etc. food is morally superior. I first started thinking about this at a roundtable on “Food Politics, Sustainability and Citizenship” at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association. The panelists acknowledged that local, organic, and/or “natural” foods were not always objectively superior in the ways people want to think they are—they often require more energy to produce and transport even if they have a much shorter distance to travel, there’s no consensus on whether or not they’re healthier than the conventional, processed alternatives, and they are often labor-intensive and rely on child labor, unpaid interns, and the willingness of farmers to self-exploit. In short, they admitted that “bad” industrial food is often more sustainable, just as healthy, and possibly sometimes more ethical. But they all insisted that regardless of its real impact, what was more important was that consumers of local and organic foods were “trying.” And they all emphasized the importance of narratives—the stories we tell ourselves about why we do what we do, which is one realm where “natural,” local, etc. food has the indisputable upper hand. Their recommendation for the “food revolution” was to focus on fostering those narratives and encouraging people to keep trying, as if the intentions and the effort involved in eating “better”—futile or not—were more important than the actual carbon footprint or nutritional ramifications of the behavior.

And that seems to me like a serious confusion of intention and effect. If the ideal that you’re pursuing is sustainability—a slippery term to be sure, but for the moment, let’s just say it means a practice that could be continued indefinitely without making the environment inhospitable for human life—and you’re advocating a new practice in service of that goal, but it turns out to be worse for the environment than your previous course of action, I don’t think you should just shrug and say, “well, at least our hearts are in the right place” and continue with the new, worse practice. However, that’s exactly what the food revolution faithful do all the time. No matter how many studies show that food miles are far less important than efficiencies of scale and growing things in optimal climates, or that organic food is no healthier than conventional, or that people can’t tell the difference in blind taste tests, they’ll either say “that’s not the point” or insist that you must be wrong. The practice precedes the evidence, but they seize on any evidence that justifies it after already deciding on the course of action and systematically ignore any evidence to the contrary.

All of which suggests that eating “better” isn’t driven by evidence-based beliefs about what’s really healthier, more sustainable, more humane, or even better-tasting—which are often conflicting ideals anyhow. The main appeal of natural, organic, local, yadda yadda food is a deep, often inchoate, feeling that it’s superior, which precedes and trumps reason or any objective weighing of the evidence. I think what reinforces that feeling of superiority most is the experience of sacrifice, which channels good old-fashioned Protestant Work Ethic values like the satisfactions of hard work and delaying immediate gratification. The relationship between virtue and self-sacrifice actually long predates Protestantism—in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that people achieve eudemonia, which essentially means “self-actualization” or a virtuous happiness, through hard work and mastering their bodily desires (usually by denying them). The underlying belief seems almost instinctual—it is good to work hard and resist immediate pleasures. And we might like to think that what makes the hard work and sacrifice good is some long-term goal or “greater good” they’re done in service of, but that’s not necessary to produce the sensation of virtue.

Ergo, making a special trip to the farmer’s market during the few hours per week it’s open must be a good thing to do simply because it’s so much less convenient than shopping at a grocery store that’s open all the time. And turning a box of locally-grown produce you might be totally unfamiliar with into edible foods and acceptable meals must be better—morally, if not nutritionally—than microwaving a Lean Cuisine. And spending more money on something labeled “natural” or “environmentally friendly” must be better. People don’t even need to know what for to reap the psychic rewards. Things that are difficult, inconvenient, or require sacrifices just feel virtuous.

"If you care, buy our environment-friendly disposable baking cups. Buy those other disposable baking cups if you're some asshole who doesn't give a shit." From

The Limits to the Virtuous Appeal

The problem for the “food revolution” is that the virtuous effort and sacrifice in service of questionable returns doesn’t appeal to everyone. Some people feel like they do enough hard work and make enough sacrifices in other areas of their life that they don’t need the extra moral boost of buying morally-superior food. And I suspect it’s no coincidence that the people who are most likely to make buying “superior” food a priority and get satisfaction from that are people who identify as “middle class” and often express a lot of guilt about how much they (and “their society”) consume in general—i.e. the politically left-leaning, (sub)urban elite. (The politically right-leaning elite might consume just as much or more, they just don’t feel as guilty about it.)

Many working-class people might technically have the time and money to eat the kind of food Alice Waters and Michael Pollan prescribe, but they don’t want to. They’re not looking to put a lot of effort into and make a lot of sacrifices for their diet. There’s no incentive.

It reminds me of Barbara Ehrenreich’s epiphany about smoking in Nickel & Dimed:

Because work is what you do for others; smoking is what you do for yourself. I don’t know how the antismoking crusaders have never grasped the element of defiant self-nurturance that makes the habit so enduring to its victims.

As she discovers, the real reason so many working class people smoke isn’t because of some rational calculation—like the fact that they might not get as many breaks if they don’t—just like the real reason more people don’t buy “healthy” food isn’t (mostly) because of the price. Smoking and familiar, convenient, “junk” foods appeal to working-class people for exactly the same reason they don’t appeal to the left-leaning, progressive, urban and suburban middle-class. They like them because they’re “bad,” because they’re self-indulgent, because they don’t do anything for anyone else—not the environment, not the animals, not third-world coffee-growers, not even their own health. For a lot of people, the narrative of virtuous effort and self-sacrifice isn’t just irrelevant, it’s an active deterrent.

Change I Can Believe In 

I see nothing elitist about campaigning for greater availability of fresh, local food in low-income neighborhoods, public schools, and prisons. But when you start telling people what you think they ought to be willing to give up in order to make what you’ve decided will be “more satisfying choices” for them, I think you’ve gone too far. I really like—but don’t totally believe—the concession Michael Pollan made in the WSJ interview:

To eat well takes a little bit more time and effort and money. But so does reading well; so does watching television well. Doing anything with attention to quality takes effort. It's either rewarding to you or it's not. It happens to be very rewarding to me. But I understand people who can't be bothered, and they're going to eat with less care.

He claims to understand why some people can’t be bothered, and even equates it with hobbies like reading and watching television—but his entire oeuvre is devoted to to making the opposite claim. For example, in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, he says:

“Eating is an agricultural act,” as Wendell Berry famously said. It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world—and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction. By comparison, the pleasures of eating industrially, which is to say eating in ignorance, are fleeting. (p. 11)

That doesn’t sound like the opinion of someone who thinks choosing junk food over fresh, local, organic food is an innocent predilection, like preferring trashy pulp fiction to James Joyce or watching reality television instead of Mad Men. The moral stakes in our steaks—a pun I’m stealing from Warren Belasco—are higher.

Even if the stakes of our food choices are higher (which is debatable), that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for food revolutionaries to try to push their priorities on anyone else, least of all the working class or disproportionately black urban poor. If they really want more people to make the choice to eat what they think is “better” food (and I think that should be based on evidence about the actual impact and not just intentions), they’re going to have to work on making healthy, sustainable, humane, etc. foods answer the masses’ needs and desires. They’re not going to get anywhere by declaring the masses ignorant for wanting cheap, convenient, reliable, good-tasting food or trying to convince them that what they should want is expensive, inconvenient, unfamiliar, less immediately palate-pleasing food.

I’m not actually sure it’s possible to create a food system that would satisfy both the desires of the “food revolution” and the needs of the working class, but if it is, it will require letting go of the narratives about sacrifice and virtue. As long as eating “better” is constructed as dependent on hard work and self-sacrifice, the “food revolution” is going to continue to appeal primarily to the left-leaning elite and efforts to get other people to join them will be—rightly—portrayed as “elitist.” And until that changes, natural, local, sustainable foods will continue to serve primarily as markers of belonging to the progressive, urban, coastal elite rather than the seeds of any real “revolution.”

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Dead On

Eating “right” according to the the (shifting, homogenous) priorities of the “food revolution” requires effort and sacrifice—perhaps not a sacrifice of objective deliciousness for people who’d rather have a bowl of homemade chili than a burger any day of the week, but a sacrifice of familiar tastes and habits and the instant gratifications of foods composed primarily of sugar, starch, fat, and salt....

Some people feel like they do enough hard work and make enough sacrifices in other areas of their life that they don’t need the extra moral boost of buying morally-superior food.

Yes, totally this. I really am not all that personally fond of the liberal elite lifestyle as a lifestyle or a quasi-religion or whatever. I'd rather smoke and drink and eat cheeseburgers and have a good time if I want to while I fight to change the world. I chafe under the sort of discipline such a lifestyle imposes. I don't have nearly enough time to do everything I want to as it is, and I don't much believe in the additive power of individual lifestyle and purchasing decisions to change the behavior of the consumer capitalist system as currently constructed. So, I don't really see the point of investing the time in doing so and/or beating myself up over it. I prefer to channel my consumer guilt into things at the community or political level that will hopefully help to change the system as a whole, though of course the chances of that aren't looking so great right now either. Come to think of it, there are probably volumes to be written about lib/progressive personal virtue crusades as the sublimation of frustration over our lack of success in or access to the larger political arena.

Smoking and familiar, convenient, “junk” foods appeal to working-class people for exactly the same reason they don’t appeal to the left-leaning, progressive, urban and suburban middle-class. They like them because they’re “bad,” because they’re self-indulgent, because they don’t do anything for anyone else

And, I must confess, there's a little of this going on with me too. Though I share the overall values of the "liberal elite", I tend to chafe at anything that starts to resemble religion-like lifestyle policing and moral bothering. That, and I have still-not-completely-resolved class issues from my redneck upbringing, and they seem to center on food and smoking more than anything else. Those are the two areas where I'm more or less unreconstructed, and I seem to hold onto them all the more for it. I rationally agree with most of what the more sensible food revolution folks are saying, and I know I'm probably hurting my health in the long run(though I think deciding to potentially trade a few extra years of longevity for more pleasure/happiness should be a valid choice, and that's another of my problems with the health=virtue strains of the movement) but some deep-seated emotional part of me doesn't want to let go of these habits rooted in where I grew up and who I was before I became a card-carrying lefty. I've been able to evolve somewhat where it makes sense to me, but I can't make myself fit the whole template, and I'm kind of weary of the implicit and sometimes explicit pressure to do so at this point. This has got to be even stronger for people who don't actually agree with the elite coastal/urban liberal project, and it's not something to be easily dismissed or overcome.

virtuous consumption and the sublimation of guilt

Come to think of it, there are probably volumes to be written about lib/progressive personal virtue crusades as the sublimation of frustration over our lack of success in or access to the larger political arena.

Absolutely--I've heard people make this point about the environmental movement and "green" products before, though I can't find the link now. But yes, and someday I will finally get around to finishing my Food, Inc. rants and particularly my ire that most of their suggestions are basically, "shop differently, and try not to get fat," which even if people followed, wouldn't affect the food system at all.

As much as its proponents

As much as its proponents like to portray eating local, organic, yadda yadda food as a purely joyful and delicious celebration, there’s basically no getting around the fact that it takes a lot more work to turn fresh produce into a meal than it does to go through a drive-thru or microwave something frozen.
Building that Will Last
Concrete Modular Building
How to Determine the Quality of Steel
Hot Rolled Steel Bars
Structure Steel Benefits

I take issue with the

I take issue with the rhetorical move of collapsing American consumers—a diverse lot—into a single “we,” but even if what he says isn’t true for everyone, it must be true for a lot of people.

is bubblegum casting legitimate


The Middle East is a very significant force in aluminum production. So going to present our results, it is a very significant event, "said Mr. Jacques. 3ds emulateur

Right on. As I have said

Right on. As I have said (probably ad nauseum), I have yet to see any evidence that people WANT the healthy crap. Let's just call it straight--junk food tastes better. I know that it is chemically engineered to taste that way but the fact is--it tastes better. If McD's bomb diggity French fries were 10 calories for a truckload, I'd eat them instead of an apple.

Also, as I've often bitched...many people just don't have time to prepare a meal. What I find very offensive is, for example, when a stay at home wife who married a wealthy man expressed disdain that everyone couldn't whip up a homemade meal. Bitch, you don't work! Alls you gots to do is keep puffing on his dick and you all set! The rest of us, meanwhile, have to actually get up, go to work, take care of kids (if you have them, which I don't), take care of the house, etc. And my schedule isn't all that bad! I leave school a little after 4, am home well before 5 and don't have kids. What about the parents of my students who work at least one job, usually shitty hours, have kids to worry about, etc etc. No way would I tell them to come home after a day at Kmart's and make homemade lasagna. (Okay, I'm showing my anti-wealthy bias here. Sorry) :)

time to cook

Definitely. Back in April, cookbook author Michael Ruhlman "called bullshit" on the idea that people "just don't have time to cook," basically arguing that it should be a priority and you should either own up to the fact that you are *choosing* to have shitty priorities or stop making excuses and just do it:

Which 1) shows a real lack of empathy for the pressures a lot of people feel to try to do and be everything--especially women and 2) is basically just nit-picking at language.

Sure, when someone says they "don't have time to cook," what they probably mean is: Well, I have to work 40+ hours a week to keep my job, which I have to do to pay my mortgage, and I choose to spend most of my "free time" driving my kid(s) around to all the extra-curricular activities we feel like they need to do in order to get into college, spending time with my friends and family, and participating in my church/my soccer league/my MMORPG/the local art scene/whatever, and after doing all that, I don't have time to cook from scratch very often. Fortunately, the industrial food system has made it possible to create sufficiently tasty and nutritious food without cooking from scratch all the time, so even if it's not the way I would choose to eat if I had all the time in the world, that's the compromise that works for me.

Rulhman thinks he knows better: "Make the time. In the same way that you make time to buy shoes for the kids, clean the bathroom, pay your bills--make time to be together over food that makes you feel good when you've finished eating it. Quick and easy won't get you anywhere. Quick and easy will only frustrate you and make you feel like you're failing."

Again, people presuming to tell you what your priorities should be and what works best for your life. Who do they think they are?

He ought to try a schedule

He ought to try a schedule like mine: up at 4:30, leave by 6, at work at 7:30, leave at 4, home at 5:30 ... what time does he should I use to cook a healthy meal? (He also ought to try it with the kind of budget most of us actually have.)
I try to get fruits and veggies in my diet, and I avoid fast food most of the time, but I'm lucky enough to be able to afford it now, and I haven't been that lucky all the time.

You make some interesting

You make some interesting points but you lost me when you started quoting Barbara Ehrenreich’ "epiphany" about smoking and used that to make generalizations about the working class and food you lost me. Given the cascade of admissions from the tobacco industry about how for decades they have intentionally manipulated their product to enhance the addictiveness of nicotine, and the fact that they spend over $12 billion (yes, billion) a year advertising their products, more and more to the working class and the poor, it's then a bit of a stretch (to put it mildly) to say that smoking is some act of rebellion by the working class against middle-class health fascists.

No one said cigarettes weren't addictive

or that advertising wasn't a factor.

However, I'm not convinced that the causal relationship is necessarily advertising --> purchasing. The arrow could easily be reversed, or probably most accurately, be represented by arrows representing a cyclical relationship: cigarette companies realize that more working class and poor people are smokers and focus their marketing efforts on that demographic, which further to strengthens their core. If more middle and upper class people smoked, wouldn't cigarette companies be better off targeting those populations, especially as they have more money to spend? The increased tendency to smoke would therefore still require some explanation.

If the addictiveness of nicotine and advertising budgets were solely to blame, you'd have to have some other mechanism to explain why working-class/poor people are more susceptible to nicotine addiction and/or advertising. I tend to think the wealthy are just as susceptible to addiction and advertising and that that there are cultural explanations for the difference in *what* they become addicted to and what kinds of purchases they make.

And it's not like Ehrenreich pulled that idea out of her ass. It was based on her participant observation of working class labor, and it absolutely resonates with my experience in the low-wage service sector (and J Dunn's comments above).

I'm not contending that

I'm not contending that addiction and advertising are solely to blame. But I think it's reasonable to say that they are a much, much larger factor than some imagined collective rebellion against middle class values, esp. when you consider that in some countries (esp. in Africa) smoking rates are much higher among the well-to-do. And sorry, but Ehrenreich's "observations" of working class labor don't really compare with the huge body of evidence on both why people smoke nor do they explain why consistently 70%+ people who smoke state they want to quit and have tried repeatedly. Again, I know this is not the main point of your blog post but as someone from a working class background I resent people talking about me in some mythological way and ignoring the corporate forces which play such a huge factor in unhealthy behavior.

Smoking and Class

To expand a bit on my class/smoking/eating allusion above, I think the salient thing here has not so much to do with the working class smoking *more* as the upper classes smoking *less*, and being extremely self-righteous about it at times. When I moved from rural Illinois to Boston, I very quickly figured out that smoking was just not done in the kind of academic/young professional circles I was running in. Nobody had to tell me or admonish me over it or anything, it was just a given that it was declasse and something that reflected badly on your judgment, your manners, your desirability as a mate, etc. It was in the air, as it were. The same went on a slightly less intense scale for things like fast food, processed food, etc. I got the idea that more people "indulged" in this area, but it's the kind of thing you'd make sure to hide when you were having company over.

Naturally, some people from a working class background coming into contact with the upper-middle-class circles who embrace and enforce these mores are going to resent them, even if they understand where it's coming from. And for those who don't share or aspire to the values from which these cultural markers and manners emerge? Forget it, and why should they? There's a real social incentive to change your behavior if you're admitted to the upper-middle-class world, but if you're not, there's probably just as much of an incentive to double down on your current behavior and reinforce your own pride of place in a cultural/class sense. Insofar as a lot of our politics is about stoking cultural resentments to divide people who would otherwise be natural allies, this sort of thing is absolute gold, and it happens constantly. And of course consumerism works the same territory and reinforces the same divisions and resentments as well.

Food is a way of life

We all have to make choices. I don't spend $4 for a peach or $8 for eggs. I buy organic and free range. You have to figure out what fits into your lifestyle. Convenient, processed foods are easy to succumb to but eating in a healthy way with friends and family can't be compared. I mean who eats a bag of chips and says that is the best chips I have every had and walks away feeling good about it because they only spent a dollar. But a meal with family or friends, no matter how simple, that someone (s) to the time to prepare makes a difference in peoples lives. It is not easy as a quick purchase and it does take time and there are many ways to do things that are relevant to our lives on all economic levels. Bottom line you just have to want to. Start small and worked towards the bigger goal. Area that have lower economic means should be provided with the availability of decent produce and groceries as more affluent areas.

I am an Italian woman and

I am an Italian woman and just happened to read this post, which I find very interesting and well debated. It surprised me, anyway, you didn't consider the aspect of family habits and traditions. For instance in Italy, if you were brought in a home where your mother, grandmother, sometimes father... alla cooked really well and enjoyed it and made it something that was significant for you, you're likely, as an adult, to find time to cook, say, a good supper, even if you've been away from home all the day and there's a million things you should do. It's part of your routine, it's a way you share time with your family. If you don't have this backround, why should you bother at all?

though i've been intending

though i've been intending to. but come on man, i haven't even finished my food, inc. ranting, or my calorie count ranting, or been able to finish the post on why gluten won't kill you. you can't possibly give me *more* things to write about.
Agen Texas Online Indonesia Terpercaya | MobilSedan COrolla

This will be giving you the

This will be giving you the best idea to see and more for that part can be that way. - Kris Krohn

Support and appreciation

My stomach is rumbling seeing all those tasty bread. I feel like having them with my favorite ginger paste and sweet butter. That is indeed heaven and I crave for the same heaven. Is that a sin?
Outlook address book

I am just writing to let you

I am just writing to let you understand what a great encounter our girl obtained visiting yuor web blog. She mastered numerous pieces, with the inclusion of what it is like to possess an ideal giving spirit to get the mediocre ones without difficulty master specific complicated things. You undoubtedly did more than people’s expectations. Thank you for presenting these warm and helpful, trusted, revealing and even unique guidance on the topic to Evelyn. | | | | | | | | | |

Great article. Thanks for

Great article. Thanks for sharing folks.

You have opened my eyes to

You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content.

It's great to have passionate

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.