Saturday, August 1, 2009

Food Debates

An excellent food discussion is being held at Reason Hit & Run. I personally have enjoyed society's recent interest in food, and have learned not only more about food but how people think about food.

I love and respect the diversity of food preferences, and part of me can understand certain romances and superstitions about certain foods (e.g. organic food). I wanted to be a hog farmer until I spent time working in a factory farm, and decided I did not want anything to do with that. Likewise, I would only work on a farm resembling the small, family, organic farm, even though I think organic food is silly.

My only concern is that we have a tendency to believe that our preferences should be reflected in government policy. For example, I disagree with Michael Pollan on almost everything, but have no desire to publicly oppose him until he calls for things like government regulations requiring a certain amount of food to be grown locally.

Unfortunately, this is what happens when government has an extraordinary amount of money to dole and a perpetual tendency to subsidize one group's preferences with money earned by other groups.

I purchase eggs from a local freee-range farm, with the understanding that they have serious predator problems. There is something about their old-style farming that I just love. There is not one bone in me that wishes to impose my preferences on you though. I wasn't always like this. It took years of economic study.

I urge you. Learn more about food. Tell me what you learned. Have fun. But be humble. Don't try and get your politicians to force my dinner table to look like yours.