Friday, May 28, 2010

The Food Movement and the Tea Party Movement: Brothers Under the Skin?

I think there are a number of parallels between the Tea Party movement versus the Food Movement (as defined by Pollan):
  1. Both have producerist strains: true value is not produced on Wall Street nor on big industrial farms; for foodies true value is produced by small family farmers.
  2. Both see international institutions as antagonists.  The food movement attacks international corporations, the tea party attacks international government, the UN, the north American compact, etc
  3. Both elevate local values over national and national over global values.
  4. Both draw, I think, from the middle and upper middle classes, mostly white. The Tea Partiers may be a tad more suburban and red state, the foodies a tad more urban and blue state.
  5. Both have anti-technology strains.
  6. Both see the American people as innocent, passive victims.  The Tea Partiers give no hint that the government they dislike and the programs and institutions they would kill have been endorsed by both parties in popular elections going back for decades.  The foodies give no hint that the obesity they deplore and the food they would trash result from the choices of consumers and families over decades. 
  7. Both seem to be nostalgic romantic movements, seeking to turn back the clock to an earlier time, at least in selected aspects.
  8. Both are suckers to con-men with dubious schemes, such as vertical farming or the return to the gold standard.

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