Some things chap my hide

Some things piss me off, especially pre-coffee readings like this one. A committee? Approving a tomato? Worried about precedents and concerned that tomatoes that taste good will somehow upset the whole industry?

Here’s a good article. My head hurts from trying so hard to wrap around the idea that people really LIKE bland, highly processed food, but it seems they do. Call me a food snob. I have no problem with that. And I have read enough Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, Tom Pawlack, Eric Schlosser, Nina Planck, and Peter Singer to fully understand what has happened to farming and food in this country. I just, as usual, don’t understand people.

I will tell you this: if someone tastes our jam, or eats our tomatoes, or sits down at our table to share a meal, their enthusiasm for what they taste is not simply politesse: they are not trying to humor me! The stuff tastes good!

Not everyone can give up their city life and move to five acres and grow their own food. But we can do things, easy things, like write our congressional representatives and senators let them know how we feel about the 2007 Farm Bill. And it won’t hurt to rattle your state representatives, too, especially if you’re a meat eater.

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7 responses to “Some things chap my hide

  1. What the hell does Jeb Bush know about growing tomatoes? In my book, that makes him unqualified to pass judgement. (This is why I never read the news until I’ve been up for a few hours… argh!)

    As for Dan Barber, I’m not sure where I first heard of him, but I was definitely disappointed when I realized his “Blue Hill” restaurant was not in Blue Hill, ME.

  2. Oh, and you can call me a food snob, too, I’ve got no troubles with that label. 😉

    (now that I’ve read the article…)
    I agree with everything Dan Barber says, but call me a pessimist: I just can’t see Big Agribusiness ever going along with diversity, or decreased subsidies or anything else he suggests. And we all know that Big Ag ultimately calls the shots.

    It’s frustrating to me, but also why I think people can’t wait around for the government to step in and be proactive. *We* need to create the food systems we want to see. It does seem to be happening on a large scale across the country which gives me hope.

    Thanks for the link to that article, El.

  3. Tomatoes that taste good would upset the whole industry. The market for the weird, waxy, unripe bitter little thing available in the grocery stores and fast food restaurants would dry up. I suspect that there are many, many people in this country that have never tasted a real tomato. And Big Ag knows very well that it cannot compete in an arena that is not based on uniformity and automation. As this local food movement or real food movement gets legs (as it seems to be), I expect we’ll see more and more ‘commentary’ saying how wrong or elitist it is. I totally see the words ‘liberal’ and ‘vegetables’ used together very, very, soon. While we drive our Volvos, drinking our lattes, reading the NYT, we’ll also be eating local tomatoes.

  4. farmer, vet and feeder of all animals

    Good links.
    I don’t even know how to say what I would like, but wanted you to I appreciated the article and links.

  5. We tried the UglyRipes and I have to admit I was somewhat, um, underwhelmed. Maybe we just had some bad ones and need to try again.

    As far as people liking band food… I think in general people just like what they’re used to!

  6. Okay, here’s the deal. I am torn. It’s not for me that I protest the protest about UglyRipe tomatoes; I haven’t tried them, and I won’t try them. I eat tomatoes in season, as the ones grown commercially aren’t even a simulacrum of “tomato” in my mind. And I do have qualms about Big Government roughing up Big Ag, but that is mostly because I don’t see an alternative. My kid goes to my in-laws’ house and eats blackberries the size of strawberries and strawberries the size of plums, and they both taste like sawdust, but my kid is a kid and therefore just plain likes fruit. I even tasted some chicken not too long ago…Tyson, or some such…at someone’s insistence and it wasn’t chicken, it was gum. Hours-old JuicyFruit. I understand the idea of eating what people are “used to,” but damn. Do people not have memories? Was a madeleine biscuit just a literary conceit Proust employed to write 7 books? I think not! EAT=MEMORY.

    Why settle, is my question. Why think you are getting a bargain if that ginormous head of lettuce or that 7-lb chicken tastes like…water and gum!

    And why DOES the government throw up obstacles to small farmers producing good food. Why CAN’T I get raw milk anymore. Why CAN’T farmers slaughter their pigs, sheep, goats and cows on-site, if poultry is okay.

    I understand that the object of all the regulations and all the hurdles is consistency. Consistency, and blandness. That, and a splash of e-coli and a touch of salmonella. No big deal!

  7. the Contrary Goddess

    the government is NEVER the solution.

    but we could turn into 100 monkeys. I’m thinking of adding (another) cow in the spring.

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