Imported Food is Elitist and a Luxury

Posted on Nov 9 2011 - 2:22am by Mike Lieberman

Mark Bittman wrote a piece for the New York Times titled Local Food is Not Elitist. It’s American.

The food industry has done a great job of making it seem like wanting or eating foods from local sources is an elitist act. I mean no one wants to be an elitist and it’s easy to dismiss that way of eating if it’s deemed so. This justifies eating cheap, processed and imported foods.

Someone once said to me that they live in Chicago and love pineapples. He asked if he was supposed to give up his values and not eat pineapples anymore?

First off that isn’t giving up a value. Living in Chicago and having access to pineapples is a luxury.

That brings me back to the piece by Bittman. Isn’t having our food imported at the expense of farm workers and the environment, elitist? Isn’t that saying, I want (insert food here) for cheap and I don’t care what it takes. Wouldn’t that be more of an elitist type attitude?

Elitism has many different meanings, but in the case of imported foods it says, “I am an American and from a dominate country. Therefore, I have the right to this food at a cheap price.”

That seems pretty elitist to me. Me wanting to support my local grower, respect my health, the environment and those that grew the food. That just seems like showing respect…not elitism.

Maybe I’m wrong.

What’s your thoughts on local food being elitist?