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Guest Thinkers

The Sustainable Food Myth

The fact that foodies so often construct their pursuit of rarified taste to be an environmentally and socially responsible act only intensifies the ugly paradox at the core of the movement.

James McWilliams, associate professor of history at Texas State University, has some ax to grind with the sustainable food movement: “Exclusive insularity—combined with the shamelessly uncritical glorification of foodie issues in the foodie media—leads tastemakers to overlook a humbling reality: for most people food is just food. Just food. It’s not religion or politics or environmentalism or fashion or travel or art or sex or anything particularly substantial beyond itself. Most omnivores don’t have a dilemma. Most eaters just want a decent lunch. In failing to appreciate this broader context of indifference, ‘foodies’ come off as a rarified club out of touch with the true world.”


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