Food Nostalgia is Killing the Poor
In Lee Iococca’s Autobiography, he tells a ditty about how his wife’s hamburgers just cannot compete with the burgers made in the company’s kitchen. When he asked about this discrepancy, the head chef told him the secret was the chefs would grind up top grade sirloin for the CEO’s dining pleasure.
I recommend this great, honest article from Chris Newman who is in the boutique farm business. If you’re rich enough to afford Kobe beef every night or to grind up sirloin steak for hamburger, of course you’re going to turn your nose up at a McDonald’s cheeseburger. But there’s a saying, ‘If your belly is full and I’m hungry, you won’t understand me.’ Society has come to the point where the vast majority of people have lost the ability to know what food is supposed to taste like or the effort needed to produce it. Many people miss food coming from the neighbor farmer up the road but their zeal for the ‘old’ ways is hampering how the other 99% of the world is going to feed itself.
BTW, to all the vegan, non-meat, we’ll feed everyone with lentil types, don’t even bother reading or responding to my writing. Protein from animals is part of a healthy diet and it’s in farmer’s best interests to treat them well. Take your new age crap elsewhere.
The ‘Pink Slime’ case was a good example of the ickiness factor and the evils of mass negative publicity. Here was a splendid innovation of technology reducing waste to create a perfectly healthy protein source. Instead, ABC creates a sensationalist story using ‘Pink Slime’ as the derogatory visual hook followed up with ammonia as the bogeyman. Thankfully, the company sued Disney, the parent company of ABC, and won a sizeable settlement to help compensate their losses.
Through mass marketing and conditioning, the masses are habituated to accept visual stimuli when it comes to food. Apples are supposed to be red or green. Carrots are orange. Salmon is pink. Fish farmers would rather not feed their fish synthetic dye (it costs extra money) to colour the meat but people won’t buy salmon that looks like haddock. Gluten-free labelling is now equated with being good for you. The same goes for the Anti- GMO Project fear labels. It’ll be interesting to see how the new Arctic apple fares now that it is on the market. The anti-GMO types will be fear mongering that it will give your child a third eye. But the farmer who created the product did so partly to reduce all the waste created from apples being tossed due to discolouration or bruising. Even the marketing of the apple pre-sliced and bagged, although very wasteful, has been done because research says kids eat more apples that way. ‘Baby carrots’ led a huge resurgence in the eating of carrots by using this strategy.
The world as a whole needs continuing research into technology that creates better methods of preserving, creating, and transporting foodstuffs. For the Western world, we have eliminated ‘seasons’ when it comes to variety and availability. It is cheaper to transport fish from Europe to Manitoba then to actually catch the fish in Lake Winnipeg. You can store apples in a CO2 environment for 2–3 years. Agronomists have created ‘Golden Rice’ that would probably eliminate Vitamin A deficiency caused childhood blindness in the Third World. It is an exciting time for agriculture and if the Luddite food nostalgic types would get out of the way, then farmers could go about their business of feeding everyone.
It would be nice if everyone was able to know the taste of an apple straight off the tree, the juiciness of a grass-fed T-bone, fresh corn out of your garden, or the novel taste of wild meat. But that’s not been reality ever since the world’s population started shooting up and we moved from an agrarian society to an industrial one. If the 2% of the population that feeds the West decided to quit, all the townies would starve in a couple of months. It’s a fact that mass farming and modern methods are the only way such a small section of society is going to be able to feed the rest.
Meanwhile, if you want that animal humane, organic, heritage food, label everything and you can afford it, go right ahead. Most of that is marketing hype anyways that is separating fools from their money. It is also creating mass neuroses in the population with regards to what they should be feeding their families. California is requiring carcinogenic warning labels on coffee now of all things. It is time to stop spreading the deliberate lies and fear mongering about perfectly good food and methods of production.
All it does is keep empty bellies emptier.
Blair is a personification of a ‘Jack of All Trades and Master of None’. He has held several careers and has all the T-shirts. Time to add the title Blogger to the list.