This petition came into my inbox via a Culinate newsletter, along with a message urging me to add my name because what could I possibly disagree with.

The declaration boldly states (really, it’s written in boldface), “Behind us stands a half-century of industrial food production, underwritten by cheap fossil fuels, abundant land and water resources, and a drive to maximize the global harvest of cheap calories.”

How can you turn you nose up at that half-century of industrial food production? It put food on all of our plates, it essentially eliminated hunger in my generation, and it saved lives for crying out loud.  It released women from the kitchen and made cooking from scratch a choice not a necessity.

The declaration goes on to list twelve goals, and about the only thing it doesn’t declare is world peace although it’s probably buried in there somewhere. I worry that these sort of platitudes will actually cause more harm than good. To declare that everyone should have access to reasonably priced, healthy, nutritious food that isn’t produced using any fossil fuels strikes me as naïve to the point of dunderheadedness.   It’s a conundrum of epic proportions to think that small, local farms are ever going to be able to feed masses of humanity.  And are they expecting everyone to jump on their bicycles and ride out to the farm where Grammy will hand them their eggs, freshly churned butter and ration of potatoes?

We seem to be galloping along directly into an Orwellian nanny state and it scares the living piss out of me.  We all march along thinking eating organic and local will solve the world’s problems but mostly those are just marketing slogans that make us feel better.  I declare we take a closer look at industrial food production and not throw the baby out with the bath water.


  1. Swisskaese on December 20, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Amen and hallelujah!

    Happy Holidays to you and Jeff.

    Michelle & David

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