A good pile of crap: a compost heap (I am still on a tear; bear with me. I will be back to regular old garden blogging soon, maybe. You’ll have to wait until the storm clears.)
Again: why aren’t people more pissed off about the crappy quality of their food? Why doesn’t it upset them that people die from eating fast food, either quickly via e. coli or slowly, via coronary artery disease? And how about some salmonella in your eggs? You know that means the chickens themselves have the bacterium, and they pass it to their eggs as they form them, not as they lay them. And how about ground beef, and wiping down your counter with bleach after you make a patty?
I don’t know. I have made my choice, so this is not about ME. I just am too much of a bleeding heart to take a “let them eat cake” approach to this: “let the idiots eat their twinkies,” as it were. I still think our food supply, though plentiful, is awful. A D+ on a good day. And people accept it. WHY?
Most of them aren’t (or don’t want to be) aware that their food IS crappy. And becoming aware would cause them to make changes in their lives and actually think about their choices and maybe take a few extra steps, so I think a little denial is working there too. I sell my chicken eggs at work. Only two people buy them. The rest of the people think it is cute that I have chickens but also think it is strange and wonder why anyone would pay more that 79 cents a dozen for eggs. “Eggs are eggs” someone said. A lot of people know that I garden. Quaint but weird. Why do all that work when you can just buy it at the store? I have attempted to explain the difference….taste, quality, absence of poisons, politics, and just plain self-satisfaction. But to no avail. Most people don’t WANT to understand. It is far easier not to.
Everything that Meredith said, plus this:
People have been brainwashed not to care. What does the average person spend their disposable income on? SUVs, fashion, flat screen tvs, vacations, homes that are financially out of reach. Certainly not “good” food. Food is supposed to be cheap and abundant… this is America after all! Let’s not even talk about the paltry wage that farmers (real farmers, not those industrial guys) get. If we paid our farmers as well as doctors and lawyers, I have no doubt the quality of food in this country would improve.
I also think that most people don’t have the luxury of worrying about the safety of their food supply… plus, they’re told over and over again that the US has the best standard of living in the world, the highest life expectancies, the “best” food (none of which I personally believe). They have been programmed to believe in “better living through science”.
Give an old-timer a homegrown egg and they’ll say, “wow! Just like Grandma’s!”. But a young person? They don’t care or couldn’t be bothered.
I dunno, El, people make choices based on what’s important to them, and it seems pretty obvious that food is not high-ranking for most.
(I will disagree slightly with the D+ grade… even though I don’t eat industrial food, I’ve had surprising encounters with factory-farmed foods, like the time my dad brought up some Sams Club spareribs, which I slow cooked. They were so good it made me mad because that kind of meat isn’t SUPPOSED to be good like that. But I know what you’re saying.)
What upsets me here in the UK is that many people seem to be actively put off food when they see it being produced properly but don’t seem to mind the factory farm because they don’t see it. My mother-in-law won’t eat salad from our garden because I use manure in the garden; a friend won’t eat our eggs since she saw them being laid (out of a chicken’s BOTTOM).
Everyone seems to be appalled that I want to get a couple of pigs and eat them (“How could you?” they say and continue to buy watery pork chops from poor sad pigs housed inside in crowded sheds).
I get very soap boxy about this as well and am regarded as very dull by the ready-meal brigade.
There is a t.v. gardener/writer/chef here called Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who is very evangelical about the moral social and health benefits of growing and eating your own food. He is also very televisual and good at garnering publicity. He is beginning to be regarded as mainstream so there is some hope.
And where are they brainwashed? Government schools. Now THERE is a rant.
The separation. Compartmentalization. That’s a large part of it I think. Women are drugged to have children and so don’t know that childbirth is powerful — and filled with shit and puke. People are isolated to be born and to die, so people don’t know. And they thank gawd for it. Go to their jobs, eat their happy meals. Don’t consider that even the chicken without bones was once still a living thing and a mistreated living thing. And please don’t consider that of a carrot, or the rape of the land to produce that carrot.
Which is why I look forward to depopulation. People, in general, with a few exceptions, suck.
(see, I ranted on your blog instead of mine, El!)
well at least here is one more that is on your side! Everytime I am in the grocery store I am truly amazed at the crap people throw in their carts. Its not even real food, its packaged, boxed chemical junk. I love my in-laws but they think OJ = Sunny Delight = 80% sugar and dyes – YUCK!
I wish more people would be aware of what they are putting into their bodies, and the environmental cost of consuming stuff like this. Alas, many people are willfully ignorant of all the research out there showing this stuff is NOT good for you.
People are no longer connected to the food they eat. We don’t have to see the hens with cages growing to their chests, or the pigs with their tails sliced off, or the butchering process. It’s easy to forget when one is not reminded of it.
Turnip — I laughed heartily at OJ=SunnyDelite. loveit! Yep. It is one of the reasons I find “health food stores” so depressing — what isn’t in pill form is a mix. Anyone who needs a mix for falafel or tabouli or who eats granola nut muffin cereal bars is, I’m sorry, not healthy.
I’ve totally enjoyed reading your rant, so keep it up! I’m learning more about the state of our food every time I go to your blog. And while it’s immensely terrifying, it’s also helping open my eyes to the need to make better food choices for my family.
That said…on the whole issue of “why don’t people care more/why do they keep buying crappy food/why do they buy happy meals and sunny delight? There are way, way too many people living at or below poverty level. Hot dogs and boxed macaroni and cheese are cheap. Organically raised, free range chickens are not. Sunny delight is cheaper than orange juice. So is Kool-Aid. My nephews and niece call red kool-aid “juice.” Drives me nuts. And my sister in law is endlessly offended that I won’t let my kids drink it when we visit their house. So, the issue to me is two-pronged: first, people living on strict budgets have to do whatever they can to feed their families. I’m sure they’d prefer the free-range chicken to the hot dogs, but their reality is that things like that just aren’t in the budget. So, as you’ve been saying all along, the agricultural industry needs to change, big time. The super-processed foods should be more expensive. Think that will happen in our lifetime? I’m betting not. Secondly, education is huge. Those of us who aren’t just scraping by need to start learning about what is going on and using our buying power to send a message to the ag industry and the government. Unfortunately, as meresy pointed out, flat screen plasma tvs and SUVs are far more important to most people than the state of our food. It’s just sad.