The new front in the culture wars: food
There was an interesting essay – whose title I stole shamelessly for this post – in today’s Washington Post that made its way to me via Twitter (thanks @chanlea). If you care about local food, it’s an interesting read. But for those who want the Cliff Note version, I’ll sum it up in a sentence:
Not everyone cares as much as you.
This essay put into words the sentiment that’s been building in me for the last year or two. I’ve come to realize not only the truth that Cunningham and Black point on in their essay, but a more profound truth, as well – I don’t really care if you care.
Because the fact of the matter is, I eat the way I do because it tastes great and makes me feel physically better. If you want to eat Big Macs three meals a day, I don’t care. Truly, I don’t. I don’t want to convert you. The disdain I have for food missionaries matches my disdain for religious missionaries.
The little bit of proselytizing I do on behalf of my food friends is self-serving. I want them to do well so they can continue to feed me. For that to happen, a certain critical mass of customers is required. So I do my part to help them achieve that critical mass. And, for the record, I really, genuinely do enjoy the company and conversation of like-minded people when it come to enjoying artisan foods. But at the end of the day, it’s all about me.
Why bother to say all that here?
Because I think there’s an issue that most people can agree on that’s being lost in the noise of the debate on both sides of this argument: freedom.
I’ll bet that you Big Mac lovers want to be free to buy Big Macs. Just like I want to be free to buy raw milk.
We are all under siege. At both ends of the spectrum, extremists are pushing for exclusionary agendas based on their own politics, preferences and beliefs. Each side would shut down the other if they could.
How about we leave our agendas at door and focus on making sure we all have the right to enjoy the food we want to enjoy?