> Regarding a comment in this thread about consumers choosing food on the
> basis of appearance:
> 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.
> is unspoiled and uninhabited by parasites. Re-education would not be an
> effective strategy if we are trying to change a genetic predisposition.
An interesting proposition, Jeff. But I believe that American consumers
have *already* been "re-educated" by mass marketing tactics and food
advertising to prefer unnatural-looking food. Recently, I was impressed
by a late-19th-century painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: it
is a tin pail of apples, lovingly and faithfully portrayed with apple scab
and what looks like flyspeck (to my non-orchardist eye). The fruit is
lumpy and of different sizes and colors. But it seems apparent that the
artist saw this fruit as beautiful---suitable for careful documentation,
not the compost pile.
I think human dietary preferences are eminently "reprogrammable"---how
else can we explain the huge amounts of money Americans spend on
processed variations of corn, wheat, rice and sugar? That's why I think
consumer education is a vital part of food-system reform, to counteract
the advertising-masquerading-as-education to which we are subjected as
members of a consumerist society.
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