If you play around in the food politics world for any given measure of time, sooner or later, your bound to run into a food philosophy. Most of you know many of them by now: Locavorism, Organic foods, vegetarianism. The sheer variety of these philosophies are enough to allow for different approaches to food production.
Alas, these differences also mean that many of these philosophies may run contrary to other philosophies. As an example, providing a farm that treats cows by feeding them grass may result in a heavier carbon foot print than one that feeds cows only grains, or a diverse market place may require food imported from distant lands. These contradictions run throughout the food world.
Which one should we primarily focus on? Admittedly this is an unfair question, and quite possible not the best poll one can give. All of these are important in some way. Additionally, these philosphies don’t have to be implemented without an eye towards any others. But a priority of goals needs to be taken into account. In many cases, some philosophies are simply more important than others.
So the question becomes, which one should be our priority? I’ve added to the following responses to the poll, in no particular order:
- To provide their employees an affordable wage that gives them an average quality of life.
- To treat animals in a humane and/or ethical manner.
- To provide food that allows for sustainability of the environment.
- To provide foods that encourage the growth of local farmers and food producers
- To provide enough food to feed their respective nations.
- To provide enough food to feed the world.
- To ensure that all classes of people have access to cheap food.
- To ensure that all classes have access to nutritious food.
- To ensure that food production is transparent and up front about their procesess.
- To stay in business long enough to provide to a region’s or nation’s economic well-being.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a philosophy or two, so feel free to mention them in the comments.
At this point in the post, I typically give my own opinion to start off the conversation. But I admit, that I’m having a bit of trouble here. They are all important in their own way.
However, if I’m to choose only one, then I’d have to say that all classes should have access to nutritious foods. This leads to other questions for me, such as “Can we do this in a sustainable manner” and “Can we have a diverse marketplace with this as our primary objective?
Additionally, who gets to decide what is nutritious, or what constitutes ‘access’. Each one of these answers in the poll will lead to further questions. I’d be surprised if most of you out there held blind faith adherence to any of these approaches.
Well, except you capitalists and vegetarians. For some reason, you two groups seem to hold the most fundamental approaches to your beliefs.