...Rethinking how our society participates in the food system, where food is produced and by whom, and what scale it is grown on.
Aaron says that he thinks the best way to get America back into agriculture is to turn it into a spectator sport.
These two quotations go back to a point of Sohodojo's that I have often mentioned in my blog posts: that shopping can and should be an experience in itself. Michael Ableman, the author of "Fields of Plenty" firmly believes in this himself. He stresses the importance of knowing who made your food, how it was made, where it was made. There should be a connection, he says, between yourself and your food.
Ableman says that "food shouldn't be just another fuel, grown out of sight by anonymous people, prepared and consumed as quickly as possible as if it were an inconvenience." This is why it is acceptable to miss out on certain foods when they are not in season, or other foods when they cannot be grown in your area at all. Food has a life of its own; when we shop at supermarkets for our food, we often take it for granted that everything we want will be available, but that is not how food is. Just as you cannot expect to have it rain when you want to, or always be your preferred temperature outside, you can't expect that the food you want will always be on our plate. And it's not like we won't be able to survive without being able to eat our favorite foods whenever we want them. Many authors I've read have mentioned that it is fun to be unsure of what produce you will eat for the week (for example, from a CSA share). Our interactions with our food should be a manner that makes sense for both us and the food we eat.
During this internship, I have kept my eyes and ears open about the buying habits and desires of the people I observe and speak with. I have talked to people from many different spheres of life about why they buy the food that they do, and what foods they would like to buy if they were available. I am convinced that a store that took a chance to sell local produce would succeed. Not everyone, but many people are willing to sacrifice the consistency of imported produce for the better taste and environmentally and socially friendly methods of producing local foods. There are people who want to know where their foods come from, and choose to buy foods that they know are grown on a local farm. There is no reason why the farmers' market should be the only source of local foods for most people.