Bloggin' too much: Supermarkets!

Okay, so I’m a little hard-lined on food. I think you should buy the best (read: localest organickest humanest sustainablest) food you can, and farmers' markets are the best way to do that. I figuratively cringe a little when I buy, say, onions from the grocery store. I don’t think the food crisis can be solved by the supermarket.

Mark Bittman does, though, and that’s encouraging. I would like to think that the food crisis can be solved by people buying broccoli instead of meat at the supermarket. (ask me why sometime, it’s kind of exciting) Better living through home cooking AT ALL, not just home cooking of organic local sustainable cage-free free-range grass-fed food.

So maybe it’s worth it for me to take a softer-line stance. I mean, farmers' markets are still the best, but grocery stores (the produce section) are the “better”, and making some change is better than none.


Anonymous -

Hey there,

I’m just curious what the food crisis is and how farmers' markets solve it.

I assume from context that it has to do with food not being local, organic, humane, or sustainable, or that those are at least factors related to the solution, but I’m not sure what the exact problem is.

Dan -

Hey, I’m not either, or at least I don’t think I can nicely wrap it up in one sentence. I guess saying “the food problem” kinda pulls a lot of crises together: (not necessarily a complete list, I might have forgotten some of it)

First, the farms:
- too many petroleum fertilizers
- too much corn (and soybeans)
- farmers are getting pushed out of business
- inhumane and disgusting treatment of animals (even if you think animals don’t have feelings or whatever, this results in diseased or less-healthy food)

Then, the stores:
- produce is underripe because it’s trucked in from far away
- stores push processed foods because they make more money
- we’ve lost our relationship with food: we see a steak, not a cow

Then, our (American/western) eating habits:
- we rush through food instead of enjoying it
- food has stopped bring people together socially (incl. families)
- we’re pretty full of self-loathing: “I really shouldn’t eat this cake…”
- weird diets (Atkins etc) make us unhealthy

Finally, our health:
- we’re at risk for a lot more diseases
- aaaand, we’re fat

How do farmers' markets solve it? They can’t do everything, but when you shop at a farmers' market, you shop from local, often organic/CNG farmers, so usually the “farm” and “store” category are mostly fixed, and if you cook food yourself, the “health” and “eating habits” categories are more likely to be fixed.

blog 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010