I didn’t get all the way through the “organic game is rigged” exposé, but that won’t stop me from wondering: So what else is new? Anyone who shops the Greenmarket/deals with farmers knew long ago that the real guys were being priced out of certification. The signs disappeared; the practices did not. Some of us don’t need the Libby’s on the label, just the experience at the table.
I am also deliberately avoiding slogging through the new book attacking the latest local foods movement even though I cannot escape being exposed to its sillier ideas. If I didn’t understand that there’s money to be made stifling entrepreneurship, I would wonder, yet again, why a drone was directed at a caterpillar. No one is being forced to buy/eat local. Throw out every high-minded reason to do so and you’re still left with the most sensual: The food just tastes better. I’m sure I’ve nattered about this before, but I vividly remember the first time I walked through the Union Square Greenmarket, when my consort was assigned by New York magazine to shoot photos for a piece on how farmers might be price-fixing. That was in the good old days when Fairway had the best affordable produce in town, and Balducci’s had everything at any price, but what we brought home that morning was so much better in so many ways it was life-changing. (Especially the bacon our Park Avenue/Wall Street friends worried could not be “sanitary.”) And I have never once gone into Whole Foods after shopping 97th Street, watched shoppers scooping up shipped-in cherries for twice the price and yelled, as the old guy did while storming out of “Magnolia” on Xmas Day one year: BF “What’s wrong with you people?” It’s a free country. Anyone who wants to eat listeria-laced meatballs and salmonella-infused mesclun can have it his/her way.