5 thoughts on “Food and Class: Julie Powell’s Attack on the Organic Food Movement – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I really think that Ms. Powell was stirring the pot with her column. She wanted to write something irreverent and un-PC, but she didn’t do it well. Her blog of her adventures with Mastering the Art of French Cooking was irreverent as hell, but it was also charming, well-written and interesting, written about personal experiences.

    When it comes to making declarations about something which I suspect the author knows very little about, well, she falls short. Because it was patently obvious to me that she just took her cheap shots where she could and either never knew any facts behind her assertions or simply ignored them. This is a hallmark of poor reasoning and lack of thought, which means that in the future, if an author’s opinion pieces are equally as factually unsupported, I will ignore what the author says, even if I agree with them.

  2. I followed Julie’s “Mastering” blog for months, and was highly entertained by her daily triumphs & tribulations. I was thrilled (if a little envious) when she landed the enormous book deal, a spot in the Times roster, etc.

    This article made me feel like I’d been slapped. I’m not rich or snobbish or classist – my pocketbook FEELS the extra money it takes to buy organic, but my body feels the difference, too, and there’s no going back. There are so many reasons to eat fresh, local and organic – none of which were conveyed in Julie’s article.

    This article seemed to me a reflection of her own deep-seated insecurities, writ large.

  3. I have to say I, along with a growing number of discontents, find myself agreeing with Julie Powell more often than not.

    Perhaps in major, progressive cities like Seattle, it’s easy for people to go to farmer’s markets, but it’s not true for everyone. I live in suburban NY. I often have to drive out of my way, often more than an hour, to get to an area where there are the farms that regularly sell their produce. Weekly famer’s markets in the area have schedules where I, a woman who works one 9-5 job, have trouble getting to them. How can someone who works long hours at multiple jobs possibly have the time? How do you you expect people to get to these markets if they don’t have a car? I’m priveledged that I have the time to drive upstate on weekends to persue the best the local farms have to offer. So many people are not so lucky.

    There also seems to be a growing movement that says, “If you can’t get to the farmer’s market, grow your own.” That assumes that everyone has the property to grow food on and the time to tend the garden. Many people have neither. I live in an apartment myself. All I can grow are some herbs in pots on my balcony. “Just start a community garden at your buidling” say the people who don’t know that my building doesn’t have much land. Obsessed locavores also don’t seem to have much familiarity with condo boards.

    Also, home-cooked meals are great if you aren’t working three jobs and have plenty of time to cook (and clean up after yourself).

    Words like “local” “organic” “home-cooked” “whole” need to also be paired with “universally accessible” if the movement wants to stop being considered elitist.

  4. I totally disagree with Ms. Powell. Whole foods don’t have to mean expensive or time consuming, and it’s often cheaper. You come across many families buying in bulk and cooking their own food to SAVE money, not spend it. And there are a number of movements to turn city blocks into community gardens, and educate people in the inner city who to date, have only been offered fast food (and when that’s all you have, and no money for transportation, that’s all you eat). The reasons for buying organic are because of the dangers of the pesticides and poisons. Now, even Walmart is offering organic. I don’t think any of us who strive for organic and whole (and I do) expect everyone to have a backyard garden. I do know though, that the efforts and purchasing power of a growing number of us have increased the amount of organics available to people because now it’s “trendy,” and the big corps have seen the economic wisdom of making it available. Personally, I HAVE to cook whole and at home because my son has Celiac’s disease. I am barred from shopping in about 70% of the aisles at the grocery store. It doesn’t take much time or clean-up to throw a small chicken in the pot, or saute a few chicken strips with some rice or cook some pasta not out of the box….the cooking time is the same on that one. Of course, I grew up in the country and lived my grandparents who barely ever made over 20k a year if that. We never owned anything “new,” but my grandparents had survived the depression, so making it on nothing and putting the rest away for a rainy day was the order of the day. Hardly elitist. We just need to educate people to focus less on getting the big screen tvs, ipods, and blackberrys and more on eating for health.

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