I am all for re-educating consumers to improve their knowledge about the
consequences of our current cheap food policies, but I wonder if we are
dealing here more with the grazing habits of primates than with
reprogrammable dietary preferences.
I don't mean to make light of the seriousness of the issue, and I speak
both as an organic farmer and a professional in the promotion of
sustainable agriculture. What I am referring to is the possibilty that we
as primates tend to choose food by visual clues that indicate the food item
is unspoiled and uninhabited by parasites. Re-education would not be an
effective strategy if we are trying to change a genetic predisposition.
Regarding the question of certification, I believe that global mass
marketing of food places such a huge distance between producers and
consumers that some type of third-party guarantee of quality and integrity
is required. Personal relationships between individual farmers and their
customers would largely eliminate this requirement, but this is an option
only available to those few people who are willing to make the considerable
effort to establish and maintain such a relationship, and who have the
resources to do it (like transportation and time).
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