From author Russ Parsons of the LA Times:
One of the more pleasing developments of the last decade has been the long-overdue beginning of a national conversation about food — not just the arcane techniques used to prepare it and the luxurious restaurants in which it is served, but, much more important, how it is grown and produced.
The article contains some good thoughts to keep in mind (and a couple that feel a little off, but that’s part of conversation), for example:
* Agriculture is a business. Farming without a financial motive is gardening. I use that line a lot when I’m giving talks, and it always gets a laugh. But it’s deadly serious. Not only do farmers have expenses to meet just like any other business, but they also need to be rewarded when they do good work. Any plan that places further demands on farmers without an offsetting profit incentive is doomed to fail.
* Food is not just a culinary abstraction. No matter how much you and I might appreciate the amazing bounty produced by talented, quality-driven farmers, we also have to acknowledge that sometimes food is . . . well, just food. So when we start dreaming about how to make our epicurean utopia, we also have to keep in mind that our first obligation is to make sure that healthful, fresh food remains plentiful and inexpensive enough that anyone can afford it.