From Farm to Whose Table?

As I sat here dawdling around on an article regarding grocery stores and being somewhat bored and uninspired, I did what I normally do in such circumstances. I went to Google with the intent of looking up different stories to help develop my story on grocery stores and somehow ended up on a site where there were dogs dressed up as human adults. After being fascinated and somewhat disturbed I got back on track by checking out local farmers markets and saw an upcoming “Dinner on the Farm” event.

Being supportive of local farmers and businesses I thought this might be a fun event to attend. At the site where I was to buy a ticket I noticed a little movie and slideshow of previous events so I thought I’d check it out. After flipping through the slideshow and watching the little movie I went to click on the “Attend” button and stopped myself then looked back at the movie and pictures…I came to a conclusion. If we haven’t already slid over the precipice into pretentious asshole-town with regards to local farmers and farm to table, then that ship is definitely getting ready to sail.

“Oh come on Pav, those events have great chefs and serve amazing food, surely that’s worth a hundred bucks to you!” Yes it most certainly is people and that…is precisely my point. A hundred dollars might be something serious cibo people and chefs might not bat an eyelash at. But I can tell you for a fact that there aren’t a lot of folks wandering around the local supermarket looking for ways to punch up their hamburger helper so it hit’s the hundred dollar mark.  Hmmm…so after I add the packet of “cheesey mix” then I add the truffles?!

I’ve been to a few of these events before and really enjoyed myself with regards to the food and with whichever guests I have attended with. But if I’m being honest, I found most of the guests who attended to be complete pant loads. I found them to be soul crushing windbags, who were desperate to drain the life force from the people around them. A good portion but not all of these people are the progeny of something between Thurston Howell the thirdfrom Gilligan’s Island, (but without the charisma) and a 12 hour lecture on “string theory”. Pretentious and yet so utterly boring and devoid of entertainment value it would make your forehead implode.

I’m all for putting on a good show and showcasing what limits can be reached with super good produce, meats and dairy products. But how about just for giggles and grins we go ahead and show what the struggling family can do with these same products? Not all the time I mean, I know “we” certainly don’t want “those types” of people to be enjoying the finest food products around. We should absolutely keep them all to ourselves.

I mean this way we get to scoff at people who actually dare buy produce or even worse, processed foods down at the local Wal-Mart! This always makes great dinner conversation…Me: “So uh, Tiffs…what was the last thing you’ve bought at Wal-Mart? Tiffs: Wal-Mart?! Uh, I’ve never even been to a Wal-Mart thank you very much. Tiffs’ date Chipper: Wal-Mart?! I’ve never even heard of Wal-Mart! (Group howls with laughter)Yeah pretty friggin funny until you’re a family of four and are buying pizza rolls and frozen french-fries as a balanced meal cause it’s cheap.

We laugh at folks because they dare eat things we find below the level of our contempt. But rather than spread the wealth and show people how to eat better foods that are fresh and available locally, we run around throwing ourselves fabulous dinners and patting ourselves on the back for doing “farm to table” cuisine. What a bunch of hooey, and whose table is that farmer’s bounty going to anyway? I don’t see my neighbors walking around with produce from local CSA’s or farmers markets as I’m sure most of you don’t either.

I walk around the Farmers markets and after buying what I want, I sometimes sit on a bench and watch the people walking around. A lot of times, that’s all they’re doing. I see more people leaving farmers markets empty handed because it’s the place to go when you want to see or be seen. Hey look at me with my recycled reusable hemp bag and my bottled water ….I’m hip, I’m green… I’m everything fabulous about local food because it’s the in thing to do.

Locavores/Slow Food/ Farmers Markets/ CSA’s/ they are all just about to get in line with “Foodie” as another way of saying Pretentious/Overpriced/Self-Involved/Over-Hyped. I mean really, if you can’t inform and welcome the folks who could truly use a little 411 with regards to fresh local foods…you’re just doing a self-serving money grab. This is fine with me as I’m not one of the “don’t bungle with the jungle” crowd but I’m also not a hypocrite. The fact that you folks… Locavores/Slow Food/ Farmers Markets/ CSA’s/ don’t seem to hold or promote events geared for the average Joe tells me that you are very much the epitome of the word hypocrite.

While I’m at it, let’s touch on farmer’s markets real quick….could you “walkers” and people just there to be seen do us “buyers” all a solid and wear a distinctive shirt. My suggestion would be for day-glow orange or fire engine red. Maybe you could go one step further and stencil or have iron on letters that say “Oxygen Thief” or “A-hole Chillaxing”. This way all of us serious buyers will know it’s ok to cut in front of you while we’re trying to buy green beans or just move you out of the way when we want to ask the farmer a question and your jabbering away about how you like to come here all the time and you have a Prius.

People with baby strollers are fine if they’re actually buying…. More often than not…they aren’t. So maybe you can take your precious and “obviously” well cared for precious little angels to the park instead of showing what a good wholesome parent you are to the other good wholesome parents who aren’t buying shit either. If I had to guess your children aren’t crying because they need something, I’d say they’re crying because of how idiotic and delusional mommy or daddy really is…and they’re stuck for another 14-17 years!

Dog walkers, there is no reason for your dog to be there. Your dog is an animal and no matter how cute they are or how many times you’ve gotten laid because of them… I still never feel comfortable when little lassie is sniffing my crotch while I’m trying to inquire about summer squash. If you ever get a dog that looks like Scarlett Johansson then feel free to bring her and I’ll take her for a walk myself. In the meantime you can live without your little precious puppy for an hour or so…in the meantime try to think of something interesting to say as a means of picking up women…you aren’t getting a second date because your St. Bernard Leonard is more interesting than you, deal with it.

So let’s get our collective heads out of our ass and start to think of ways to incorporate “The Whole Community” in community supported agriculture, farmers markets, and farm to table events. We aren’t doing nearly enough and you know it. Let’s do some events for everyone to show that this great food is not out of reach, to show that this stuff is accessible and attainable. I have no idea why people think the food “revolution” is in full swing and raging except it’s probably the result of technology.

Technology must be the answer because we keep in contact with likeminded people who have a shared interest in food. But go to any grocery store and watch the people buying burgers ground God knows how long in advance and boxed up, or the breaded chicken tenders in some kind of sauce. You shake your head at those people don’t you? I do too and think to myself, I thought we’d come so far…I thought with food and cooking on so many channels people were starting to “get it”. Well they’re not….not as long as those food shows are stripped down to their lowest common denominator.

People eating massive amounts of crap food are not an inspiration to eat local and healthy. People making cupcakes and cakes out of everything BUT cake won’t cut the muster either…The bottom line, It’s up to us. We have to be the bearers of light. We have to take it to the streets. We don’t have to shove it down their throats but we sure as hell need to be doing a better job of it than we are now. Either that or we can keep giving ourselves congratulatory dinners. Out of one side of our mouth convincing each other the food revolution is a success, then out of the other bad mouthing the” ignoran”t…while the whole thing was just a means to make a shit ton of money. I don’t want any part of that….do you?
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