. . . the deepest questions about postmodern food have as much to do with community as they do with taste.
A local farmers market, for instance, is not only about providing fresher food than a supermarket can offer (and doing it with much less use of energy, an increasingly important factor in a world starting to fret that long-distance food plays a more-than-trivial role in causing climate change). It’s also about rebuilding the local agricultural economy so that small farmers no longer have to sell their products as commodities at prices set by the most efficient, largest operations. And it’s about rebuilding communities: one sociologist last year followed shoppers around farmers markets and supermarkets, and discovered that they had ten times as many conversations at the former. In a lonely society, that’s an encouraging statistic.