The Food Fighters’ New Year Resolution? Aim for Civility

There was a nice piece in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, in which food writer Russ Parsons urges both sides of the “food fight” to aim for civility (which is only another way of saying “Could ya stop yammering and start listening?).

I’m sure he’s not the only one hoping for more discussion and less lunacy, but unlike others, he offers a specific, practical list of assumptions both sides need to dump. It’s worth reading, if only because it’s more pragmatic and substantive than most of what’s out there.

Not, mind you, that I see much hope any time soon for a) civil debate; or b) informed debate. Sadly, most of those doing the talking (shouting? yammering?) argue (if you can call it that) their case based on muddle-headed assumptions, which (you can see this coming, right?) stem from lack of knowledge about the history of American agriculture, and especially the history of federal farm policies.

Anyway, worth a read if you have the time. Tip o’ the mug in this case to Tom Philpott, who blogs at Grist and who wrote his own response to Parsons’ essay. (Also worth reading if only because it’s a near-perfect example of the “Big Ag is the devil” side of the debate.)

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