the cost of food

i have a thing for airline magazines.

i love them.

unabashedly, i love them.

and i always leave the plane with one.

the writing is good and funny and among the smartest out there.

and the subjects range from travel (obv) to brain development to the life of a bee.

when i traveled this past monday i plopped in my seat and immediately reached for Hemispheres (united's magazine).

and it didn't disappoint. in fact, the question and answer with alice waters is among one of my greatest magazine reads to date.

who is alice waters? well, let me just quote the article's author, david carr:

"Even if you've never had the pleasure of eating at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters' remarkable restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., you have likely dined at a table that she has indirectly set. When your grocery store stocks a legit organic produce section, you have Waters to thank. When the waiter at your local bistro goes on and on about how local and fresh the ingredients for the day's special are, he is channeling Waters' philosophy. And when a dish arrives at your table glorious in its simplicity and unadorned by all manner of highfalutin, ego-driven flourishes, Waters can take a bow." essentially, Waters is the godmother (someone else's term, can't take credit for that) of the organic food movement. one of the most influential activists promoting local foods for the health of the environment, the economy, and the each person eating them (us).

and of all the interview, what follows is the thing that struck me most--the thing that had me folding over the page, knowing i'd blog about it later in the week.


Hemispheres: What is the one thing we don't understand about food.

Waters: That it's precious. We need to pay for it. We need to pay for the food and pay the people who produce it. That's profound and terribly important. We still think we can get it for free. And you know, it's that idea that we have been indoctrinated to believe, that food should be fast, cheap and easy. And it's really that kind of thinking that is destroying the world.  so, i have one less glass of champagne this week or look for a cheaper apartment or pass on a pair of shoes so i can afford to pay for local produce and raw almond butter?

yup, i'm okay with that.

because by paying more for the good stuff now i'm helping to create a market for it.

honestly, it's my belief that because i can afford to pay for the local produce, the healthy stuff, the unprocessed food it's my moral obligation to do so. because my doing so will help one day make the good stuff more affordable for everyone (or God help me, i hope so).

illustration by jeffrey decoster