Organic Consumers Association

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The Food Movement's Multiple-Personality Disorder: Let's Move Beyond Foodies and Localists

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Environment and Climate page, Organic Transitions page, and our Breaking the Chains page.


The food movement has a case of multiple-personality disorder.

One of its personalities is the foodie, who approaches the movement as a vehicle to increase sensual-aesthetic pleasure. Another of its personalities is the localizer, who views the movement through the lens of the foodshed radius and food miles. Another is small-is-beautiful -- small farms, small artisan processors, small distributors. Two more of its personalities are the food-justice advocate and the broadener, who want the movement to expand to a robust, durable, fair, and deeply embedded system that really challenges the stranglehold that the industrial food system has on us.

If you look at the literature, the news media, the blogosphere, Twitterdom, and Facebookland, you'll find that foodie-ism, local-ism, and small-ism are the dominant personalities, with a smattering of food justice and broad-ism here and there. You'll find plenty of foodies slobbering over whipped Mangalitsa lard, braised pork snouts, and sliver-thin raw beef's liver. You'll find plenty of localists committing themselves with verve to the 100-mile challenge. You'll find heaps of praise for all things small-ish.

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