Eat a peach

One of the guest lecturers in my Food Safety class today was Lucy Norris of Slow Food Seattle and Puget Sound Food Network. I try to buy local when possible, and I don’t eat much in the way of processed food, so she was pretty much preaching to the choir, in my case, but there were a few things she said that grabbed my attention.

“We’ve made the unhealthy choice the rational choice.”

“Peaches from Yakima [in central Washington, for you out-of-state readers] have sold for 99 cents a pound. With each peach weighing roughly half a pound, it would cost about $3 for an average family to have one each. Not far from the produce section, [name deleted] macaroni and cheese mixes are bundled into six packs offering 18 servings of “enriched macaroni product” and cheese sauce mix, and selling for $2.99. If you had a limited budget to feed your family, what would you choose?” 

“Our new normal is backward, standardized, harmful, bland and cheap food…no wonder so many of us hate grocery shopping.”

She also said that Slow Food and other “foodie” groups have a reputation of being “a bunch of rich people sitting around and eating and drinking,” but they really want people at all income levels to have access to good, healthy food.
That’s an excellent point. People who value food (aka foodies) tend to be pretty aware of the different effects high-quality food and low-quality food can have on how you feel…so why would they wish poor-quality food on anyone? If I could bestow fresh fruits and veggies on the world, I would. Then I’d go hide all the chicken nuggets 😉

One more quote, which you can read in context here:

“When thinking of food, the question should not be why people don’t eat well, but why we have created a system that reinforces—at a cost to mental health, financial security, and physical well-being—a food plutocracy where food has become increasingly fetishized at the top and placed out of the reach at the bottom.”

Well, I hope this is a little lighter, in a way, then yesterday’s heavy cholesterol chat. Happy Thursday!