Foodies Are Not 'Elitist'

It's their industrial critics who are guilty of that: Eric Schlosser

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2011 11:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – Industrial agriculture honchos like to brand foodies pushing for healthier practices as elitist, but they've got things exactly backward, writes Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser in the Washington Post. "America’s current system of food production—overly centralized and industrialized, overly controlled by a handful of companies, overly reliant on monocultures, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, chemical additives, genetically modified organisms, factory farms, government subsidies and fossil fuels—is profoundly undemocratic," he writes. "It is one more sign of how the few now rule the many."

Schlosser also criticizes some who would likely consider themselves in his camp, namely snooty celebrity chefs and restaurant-goers who favor exotic and obscure ingredients and cooking techniques. These things "smack of elitism" and "could sideline the movement or it make it irrelevant," he writes. But while those practices are annoying, "they generally don't sicken or kill people. And our current industrial food system does." As usual, the poor are hurt the most, which is why the elitism charge makes no sense—especially from defenders of a system "based on poverty and exploitation."

A cow grazes.   (Getty Images)
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