I posted a video about my cookbook proposal. I finally finished it, landed an agent, now I need a publisher. I'm trying to build as much excitement as possible, because it is a tough time in the publishing industry (in every industry!), so every bit counts. If you can, click here, watch the video, pass the word, make a comment or shoot me an email. Increased views will definitely help. If the link doesn't work, copy and paste the following url.
If you've been to a supermarket lately, you know that groceries are more expensive than ever. Unfortunately, there's no relief in sight. With the rising cost of oil, global warming, ethanol production, and an increased demand from an emergent global middle class, these high prices are here to stay.And yet, according to a NY Times article quoting iconic figures like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters, this is good news becauseprocessed, big farm foods, dependent upon fossil fuel and commodity crops, are getting more expensive while locally and sustainably grownitems are not.Thank goodness, the great leveling is upon us. Finally, the cost difference between the nefarious industrial food chain and it's superior, organic, traditionally grown counterpart is shrinking fast. Consumers can now make healthier choices free from economic constraints. For example, if the fast food burger from the one dollar menu now costs two dollars, informed consumers will then likely choose the two dollar salad instead. All good, BUT there's the big elephant in the sub-prime, Iraqi war, no-health care room.
What if all you have to spend is one dollar?
It's reality people. No matter how you slice it, more and more Americans are unable to feed their families without resorting to emergency sources because the shrinking dollar just doesn't buy enough. Food banks are at an all time low and food stamp applications are through the roof. And on a global scale, it is far worse. Food riots have erupted in dozens of countries, and the most vulnerable populations are victim to even greater destabilization. By what standards, may I ask, is this good news?
Lest you think I'm an organic hater, let me state for the record, I have no interest in the industrial food diet of high fructose corn syrup and hormone injected beef. Michael Pollan, in particular, is down right inspiring on the subject of sustainability. His book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, is among my favorites. Still, I can't shake the nagging sensation that deep within this movement lies the not-so-subliminal message of "let them eat organic cake." In any serious conversation about the improving the quality of food in this country, there must be room allowed to address or at least consider those who do not have enough to eat, especially when you have as significant a profile as Mr. Pollan. It's not only up to the economists and policy makers, us go-green foodies have responsibility as well.
So allow me, a lowly blogger who greatly values local produce, to
inject a few humble suggestions into the whole sustainability
conversation since our brightest stars seem to think it outside our parameters.
First, make a food donation or write a check. Hunger relief organizations,
ranging from your local soup kitchen to the UN's World Food
Programme, need support now more than ever. Second, educate yourself.The Washington Post's March 14th Editorial is an excellent place to start, as is Paul Krugman's "Grains Gone Wild". Third, advocate. On websites like America's Second Harvest you can write your representative in a click; mine even answered back. Demand that legislators pass the Farm Bill because the US "hunger lobby" (a term rather callously coined in Pollan's Weed It and Reap article) will get desperately needed funds. Crumbs for sure, but it feeds more children than nothing. And request that Congress approve supplemental aid to the UN and other existing programs to cover the increased cost of food and transport. Even President Bush supports this one.
I applaud the millions of people passionately calling for local slaughterhouses, sustainable farms and
community gardens which will shorten the food chain, shrink our carbon footprint and improve our health, but if the most visible advocates are silent on the subject of hunger, organic apples will leave a bad taste in my mouth.