The New Yorker Weighs In on the Foodie Elitism Debate

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Is sustainable food nothing more than a lifestyle of the rich and farmers'-market-loving? Depends who's writing. Like a Blue State/Red State clash brought to the kitchen, the food elitism debate rages on. (See Corby's article on Walmart versus Whole Foods—or his interview about it on NPR's Talk of the Nation—as well as his exchange with Atlantic writer Caitlin Flanagan, who blamed the "vacuous if well-meaning ideology" of Berkeley's Edible Schoolyard for disenfranchising the children of immigrants.) Now The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg has entered the fray, evoking an upper-crust, arugula-laden vision of sustainable food while arguing for its advantages:

Foodism, as it might be called, won't cure any global disasters, and its direct beneficiaries are mostly the relatively privileged and comparatively well-educated—the sort of people who shop at Whole Foods, support farmers' markets, and patronize restaurants that have "executive chefs." But the benefits have trickled down, as a visit to any midrange chain supermarket will confirm. Compared to the Grand Unions and A&P's of a generation or two ago, the ShopRites and Safeways of today are a gourmet's paradise. And at McDonald's you can now get a salad with that. Let us count our blessings while we can.

Read the full story at NewYorker.com.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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