In my previous post, I described how my farm stand thanked its first 200 patrons, three days in a row, with a goody bag in celebration of a pavilion it opened. Because a large curly head of lettuce filled the open end of the bag, I assumed (incorrectly) that it all was produce and was disappointed to learn when I got home that it was the only produce: The other five things were all dependent on processed sugar.
I’m a supporter of my local farm stand, a retail outlet of the farmer with the most acreage under till in New England. I go there for the fresh, locally grown produce at decent prices, and enjoy knowing that I’m supporting not only a local business but an improbably strong agricultural survivor in the sea of suburbia.
They sell a lot more than local produce, and I’ve recently been taken greater heed of where stuff comes from, declining to buy the Argentinian and Chilean apples, pears, etc., because of the food miles.
As an editor of 30 years and a paid wordsmith for even longer, I am sensitized to the use of language, and I continue to be tickled by the way Big Food twists the words of others to make their arguments seem absurd.
A case in point is how the soda industry is reacting to New York City's ban on super-large sodas. They proclaim the unfairness of putting all of obesity's blame on soda alone, for example, when no is doing that.
I generally like and am informed by The Salt, a blog on food topics by NPR. But April Fulton’s something-or-other on pink slime is a piece of ill-expressed junk.
I am like most people in that I have a) tired of "the latest study" because it seems you can always find one that says the opposite of the last one and b) interest in studies that confirm my world view.
But that's not why I'm sharing this nugget:
Headline: Report Suggests That Your Supermarket May Affect Your Weight
A proposed standard for nutrition claims in New Zealand and Australia is being opposed by an industry group.
Yes, I know, that's hardly news. After seeing the US food industry insist on no more than voluntary guidelines and then using tens of millions and all its other muscle to defeat those, it's clear that the industry will truck no curb, no matter how innocuous.
A question that keeps recurring: Why are the free-speech rights of corporations more important than our shared imperative to protect children?
No rights are absolute, as exemplified by falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, as expressed by Oliver Wendell Holmes in a 1919 Supreme Court case. In the larger sense, there are very few absolutes in a world colored in shades of gray, anyway.
I'm late to this topic, and perhaps have failed to add to, or take advantage of the momentum generated when this special Reuters report on food marketing to children was released April 27. But it's too important not to bring it to your attention, and by more than just a tweet.
In 1979, I was over 300 pounds, a daily pot smoker, and about to piss away my opportunity to graduate with my college class by blowing off two courses in my last semester. Joan Gussow was already preaching a gospel of healthy, sustainable food that I would have ignored had I known about it at the time. Somehow, it makes me more appreciative of it now.