November 14th, 2011 • No Comments
Sometimes thoughts and concepts on food just build up in my head and get squeezed out like ketchup from a squeeze bottle (organic of course!) – here is my reply to a post on Linked-In in the “Slow Food” Group discussion begun by Eric McNulty:
Q: What are the barriers to embracing slow food, local food, healthy food? It must be more than cost. Thoughts?
Reply (Charlie Adler): Blame WWII..why? The U.S. govt. and U.S. industry came together in a form of Nationalism never seen before – the war promoted uniform delivery of food to troops – so if you came from Oregon, CA, Florida or Maine (the 4 corners), you would be eating the same canned foods, Heinz ketchup, Hershey’s chocolate, etc..food science could deliver non-perishable food to troops, why not to homes in the US? This is extremely simplified, but effectively, American tastes became homogenized, and Supermarkets grew with this new food production/distribution phenomenon..
I grew up with TV dinners, frozen pizza, and all kinds of pre-packaged processed foods in the 60’s and 70’s..ironically, even though today supermarkets provide a wider range of foods, more organic, and even more “nutritious” combinations, food has never been more processed, distributed from farther distances, and more weird food allergies “du jour” appearing daily by consumers – almost forgot, and more people overweight and on diets..Conclusion: Americans taste for food is chain, supermarket, convenience store, frozen, fat-free, Vegan, choose a label..
We have become our own worst enemy – the labels on food define us as a consumer – Slow Food has 3 strikes against it: “slow” is jargon for “stupid” or “wasteful” in American culture, “food” or “real food” is a foreign concept to the majority of Americans who eat Protein bars, and drink Energy drinks, and take dietary supplements, rather than actually get nutrition from a carrot or steak, and finally, Strike 3 – Slow Food is LITERALLY a foreign concept from Italy! Since Americans can’t even figure out why spaghetti and meatballs don’t go together, how will we as a nation understand such a philosophical concept as “slow food” unless we are seriously “Foodie”??