I think we have all been there before: standing in front of a market stand, staring at some of the best looking produce we’ve ever drooled over… and then your eyes trip over the price tag. They’re asking for how much per gram/pound???? Our stomachs say yes. Our principles may even say yes. But our wallets just can’t digest the cost.
As socially responsible consumers, we are forced to reckon with this economic conundrum on a personal level. On a macro level, the economics of it get even trickier. How do we support local production while also ensuring fair access to these products? In my mind, we cannot speak of “green gourmandise” (if you’ll indulge me for a second) without including an intent to make such eating habits accessible to all.
I have no answers to these apparent conflicts of interest, but I like the way Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA, gets down to the questions at the core of the slow food ethos. So I thought I’d share! http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-soul-of-slow-food-fighting-for-both-farmers-and-eaters/251739/
The article refers to the US context, but the same issues occur in most parts of the world, one way or another. I have a theory that in France and Switzerland, the conflict of interest between farmer and consumer is a little less pronounced, being tha the cost of farm fresh, locally grown or produced food products is perhaps a little closer to the lower grade products you find in the super markets…. but this is just a theory!
Happy reading 🙂