Let them eat cake (from Safeway)

I’m writing this on a Mac laptop, while sitting in my kitchen at a table I bought several years ago from IKEA. (I actually didn’t want an IKEA table, but after six months of looking online, in antique and thrift stores, IKEA actually had one that worked for this space at a price that I could afford.)

In my pantry, I have a few cans of tomatoes, a few Tetra packs of soup, and some dolphin safe tins of tuna. There’s ketchup in the fridge, mayo, and yogurt, too. I am almost certain that I’ve more than a few products in the fridge and the pantry that contain high fructose corn syrup. No. I am not pure.

I try not to be judgmental, but I do shudder a bit when my sister-in-law brings home cases upon cases of bottled water that she’s bought at her local Wal-Mart. I cringe when I go to my local Safeway (yes! I sometimes pick up things there, although I try to shop at the farmers’ market as much as I can), and I’m the only one I see bringing my own reusable bag.

But, according to Charlotte Allen, in a piece in the Los Angeles Times, titled Keep your self-righteous fingers off my processed food, people like me–in her definition, people like me are “foodie snobs and lefty social critics”–are Marie Antoinette-like delusionals, taking joy in people spending too much for heirloom tomatoes. (I’m honestly actually surprised that she didn’t bring up the POTUS ordering–the horror, the horror–Dijon mustard on his burger, or mention the salad green star of the last campaign: arugula.)

For some reason, Allen is a staunch defender of her tastes, especially in ice cream. She adores Haagan-Das, which, last I checked, wasn’t exactly on the top of the shopping list of people like my sister-in-law, and all the others living through the (say it with me now) biggest recession since the Great Depression. And, in an insightful piece entitled What is Charlotte Allen arguing, the author makes the point that Allen [is]put-off by the very fact that people out there are interested in good food consumed in an environmentally-friendly manner. (The author makes a lot of good points too about food subsidies, etc., so definitely worth a read.)

Allen defends IKEA, and scoffs at people who scoff at Wal-Mart. When driving around yesterday (burning fossil fuels), I happened to hear her on NPR’s “Opinion Page.” When the host, Neal Conan, asked her about the environmental, labor rights, and quality problems when buying products from China, I nearly swerved when she said: You know, China does have serious environmental problems, but those are China’s problems and they’re not our problems.


Just who is delusional now?



Filed under fair trade, recycling

3 responses to “Let them eat cake (from Safeway)

  1. Nice post! I had the same reaction to Allen’s post.

  2. Thanks, Sean. And, I appreciated your comment about Pollan on EL’s blog!

  3. Hi,
    This post is really good for anyone who want to read some experience of the foody and his conversation.

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