Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Another look at food issues

n the food section of today's L.A. Timesa national conversation about food -- not just the arcane techniques used to prepare it and the luxurious restaurants in which it is served, but, much more important, how it is grown and produced.

Parsons addresses both farmers and reformers, suggesting ways to improve civility and create common goals that could lead to progress. My three favorites out of his twelve points:
  • "Agriculture is a business. Farming without a financial motive is gardening. ... Any plan that places further demands on farmers without an offsetting profit incentive is doomed to fail."
  • "There's no free pass on progress. Just because you've always farmed a certain way does not mean that you are owed the right to continue farming that way in the future. The days of a small or medium-sized farm making a decent profit growing one or two crops and marketing it through the traditional commodity route are long past."
  • "Quality is more expensive than quantity. Farming fruits and vegetables that are not just healthful but also have great flavor takes a lot of time and work and usually means not growing as much as a neighbor who doesn't focus on flavor. So when you're shopping, don't begrudge a good farmer a little higher price -- that's what it takes to keep him in business."
Read them all here:

Civil dialogues about food can lead to understanding and change

1 comment:

Jen said...

Mae, I'm going to have to really, really find some time to read these articles you've been pointing to. They're fascinating and I've been swamped lately.

Thank you for constantly pulling in my interest. (Please ignore that sentence... I'm very, very tired).