I've eaten food, hell yeah. And some of it's good too.

But most of it isn't.

You've eatin it, this food they speak of, good or bad or middling. I bet. No no, think again. I'm sure of it. I think later today I'll do it again. Mmmm, foody.

I'll be posting something next week in response to this week's wildly interesting "Ask a Scienceblogger" topic of Organic Food. They query:

What's up with organic foods? What are the main arguments for buying organic? Is it supposed to be better for me, or better for the planet, or what? Are organics, in any sense, worth the higher price?...

For today, this Friday, here's a discussion forum from The Nation about the subject of food more generally. So here's Schlosser, Pollan, Berry, Shiva, Singer, et al. on Food, Organic, and the like at The Nation. A sampling, below...

Eric Schlosser (who's Fast Food Nation is coming out on the big screen, via Richard Linklater, in November) says:

What single thing could change the US food system, practically overnight? Widespread public awareness--of how this system operates and whom it benefits, how it harms consumers, how it mistreats animals and pollutes the land, how it corrupts public officials and intimidates the press, and most of all, how its power ultimately depends on a series of cheerful and ingenious lies.

Michael Pollan says:

Most important, the farm bill determines what crops the government will support--and in turn what kinds of foods will be plentiful and cheap. Today that means, by and large, corn and soybeans. These two crops are the building blocks of the fast-food nation: A McDonald's meal (and most of the processed food in your supermarket) consists of clever arrangements of corn and soybeans--the corn providing the added sugars, the soy providing the added fat, and both providing the feed for the animals. These crop subsidies (which are designed to encourage overproduction rather than to help farmers by supporting prices) are the reason that the cheapest calories in an American supermarket are precisely the unhealthiest.

Vandana Shiva says:

Humanity has eaten more than 80,000 plant species through its evolution. More than 3,000 have been used consistently. However, we now rely on just eight crops to provide 75 percent of the world's food. With genetic engineering, production has narrowed to three crops: corn, soya, canola. Monocultures are destroying biodiversity, our health and the quality and diversity of food.

Wendell Berry says:

Most of our people, who have become notorious for the bulk of their food consumption, in fact know little about food and nothing about agriculture. Despite this ignorance, in which our politicians and intellectuals participate fully, some urban consumers are venturing into an authentic knowledge of food and food production, and they are demanding better food and, necessarily, better farming. When this demand grows large enough, our use of agricultural lands will change for the better.

Peter SInger says:

There is one very simple thing that everyone can do to fix the food system. Don't buy factory-farm products.

Worlds' Fair readers say...

More like this

Michael Pollan makes so much sense it's actually a little painful, since such basic agricultural reforms will never, ever get through Congress. At some point in the twentieth century, American lawmakers forgot that the sole goal of farming wasn't efficiency; high-fructose corn syrup should not be…
Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry, Troy Duster, Elizabeth Ransom, Winona LaDuke, Peter Singer, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Carlo Petrini, Eliot Coleman & Jim Hightower recently participated in a Nation forum: One Thing to Do About Food. Here are a few excerpts - go read the…
Organic foods from your supermarket may comply with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program, but are you really buying what you think you're buying? Many people "go organic" because they want to buy family-farmed, locally-operated produce. But as Steven…
The journalist Marc Gunther recently posted a thoughtful article discussing public perceptions of the role of organic agriculture in a future sustainable food system. He found that many consumers believe that there are only two ways to produce food: "The first can be described, depending upon who…

Ah, you are nice to actually give attribution to the authors of quotes. Can't wait for your real Answer. I'll try to find time and energy to do it over the weekend, perhaps like a book review of Pollan and Salatin.

All of which is true, but none of which has anything to do with what kind of fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides one uses.

By Frumious B (not verified) on 11 Sep 2006 #permalink

Frumious -- I don't follow you/not sure what your point is. Could you explain more? B