1) people desire a connection to their food (especially in light of food borne illness): "Every now and then, we have to see our food, if only to preserve the illusion that this good earth can keep us well.";
2) good food (case in point, apples) is often the product of ecological manipulation, despite the labels "sustainable and local":
3) the role of industrialized production in food-borne illness is somewhat unclear and should be considered in context:
In the romance of an October day, all of it seems like Eden in an age of warehouse burger peril. All of it seems like it fits — sustainable and local, to use those drab words that people insist on attaching to good food from somebody you know.But this image is somewhat illusory. The Yakima Valley is a miracle of manipulation. It would grow little but sage and scrub brush without its network of irrigation ditches and pipes, draining water off the Cascades.
How much of the danger from leafy vegetables can be blamed on the industrial model that produces cheap calories I don’t know. But as consumers follow Michael Pollan’s advice to get to know our food producers, we will learn to see the processed burger and the industrial vegetables for what they are — cheap global commodities that carry some risk.If that is what they are, whether they should be part of our food supply is not a simple question, at least to me. Egan artfully links the imperfect supply with the imperfect remedy many of us employ:
The best antidote for such a thing is to see, touch and experience food as it comes off the fields. As imperfect as this harvest picture is, it satisfies a need that has never bred out of us as people.