Saturday, February 23, 2013
Appropriate action to change the food system
This is an interesting piece on the importance of political action to make a better food system and a better world. The author accepts that individual consumer choices are a part of how to attain this better future, but that they risk depoliticizing us and keeping us within a capitalist consumer mentality. I have often thought along the same lines. I understand campaigns to encouragepeople to make responsible consumer decisions, and I think that responsible buying is a basic precondition of living a sustainable life. But our engagement and protagonism cannot stop there. I think that especially in the US many of us shy away from grassroots political action, and separate our lives into consumer choices, which we directly affect, and large-scale national politics, which we feel helpless before. So at worst, as this author argues, being a responsible consumer is just another (more well-intentioned and thoughtful) brand of the general culture of unquestioning consumerism. We need also to take concrete measures to address overlying superstructures that make for an unjust or otherwise undesireable world.