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
A cow grazes.   (Getty Images)

(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."

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
May 2, 2011 2:09 PM CDT
If the American public really had no interest in gourmet or unusual or unprocessed or organic food, then FoodTV and Bravo cooking shows wouldn't be so popular. Have you ever noticed the commercials on FoodTV and Bravo? They aren't aimed at a small group of people who are very wealthy or highly educated. They are ordinary commercials for mainstream products that are used by a wide variety of people from different income groups. It's hard to say that "foodies" are "elitist" when they are trying to interact with and sell to everyone, and everyone wants to interact with them.
Apr 30, 2011 3:31 PM CDT
Boo-fucking-hoo. Anyone that defines their livelihood by how much "great" food they eat is an elitist. I've always hated the term foody; It's pompous, and pretentious. Look, everyone likes great food. Everyone. You're no one fucking special. The only thing that separates you from the rest of the world is the lengths you'll go to in order to pork-down some far-off, exotic delicacy, and how much you brag about eating it. You ate dinner, that's great. We're proud that you were able to maintain a daily intake of food stuffs. Christ.... You had the very last golden, albino peach fondu from the Peruvian forest of alla-bala-ding dal dae? That's great, I'm fucking thrilled. I had a BBQ steak, and guess what? I received just as much subsistence from my meal as you did. Why do you feel you need a fucking TV show? I've got the same "go fuck yourself" reserved for anyone that bitches about GM. Especially since these are usually the same group of elitist assholes. Listen, GM is not only saving lives, it is advancing science, aiding in finding cures of currently incurable diseases, and enabling people to grow food in areas where they would normal be unable to do so. Oh, but they put a fish gene in your tomato? Oh, but you were going to eat that tomato with a fish anyway? Well then they saved you the fucking trouble because there is no difference. You are not going to grow a third nipple on your love-handle just because they combined these genes in the same food. It's the same principal as different foods touching on your plate. Shut the fuck up, they're all going to the same place anyway. Okay, I think I've sufficiently ranted for today so ehhhh.... /rant
Apr 30, 2011 12:37 PM CDT
The watchword of the 21st Century will be "EFFICIENCY" If it takes corporate mechanized agriculture to deliver foodstuffs efficiently, then that is the course of action we will take, never mind if its any good for you- people have to eat something We don't all live in a desert where one often eats crap