I went to a conference yesterday that wasn't like the usual gathering of Instagram obsessives. It was focused on promoting a better food system, but along with the well-meaning thought-leaders running the show, there were low income people and food bank directors in the crowd and things got heated, so heated that when a loudspeaker blew at one of the panel discussions, the gunfire-like sound was especially unnerving. The tension between good, healthy food and affordable food is real, but the Beecher's Foundation responsible for this gathering is doing a good job of busting the myth that a fast food meal is cheaper than a home-cooked one. Our Farm is in a generally working class area where there aren't a lot of great food options. The Gates' and the Nordstrom's may have summer homes in nearby Union on the gorgeous Hood Canal, but the nearest sizable city is Shelton, a depressed milling town, and the county's unemployment rate is 2% higher than the rest of the state. I left the conference realizing that if we're going to have a positive impact on the greater community, a change in tone is probably warranted; less high-mindedness and more practical advice for getting a 20 minute, $5 meal on the table.
(I left the conference with a physical copy of this book for inspiration, but in the interests of reaching a maximum audience, the author has made it freely available as a PDF.)
- Winter and Rough Weather