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In his book, What are People For?, Wendell Berry presents some interesting ideas about food, agriculture, and consumers. He starts off by proposing that “eating is an agricultural act” and that with should be done with pleasure. Berry suggests that most consumers have no clue where the food came from and that food to them is pretty much an “abstract idea”. He blames food industries for this lack of care from consumers, which he thinks also leads to a lack of pleasure for food. Berry then goes on to talk about the “politics of food”. In this discussion, he questions how the food industry has caused us to be dependent on them, and because of that, one cannot really “live free”. Berry suggests that it is our duty, as consumers, to “reclaim responsibility for one’s own part in the food economy”. He offers a list of seven different things that one should do to accomplish that. He stresses that learning about food and how it’s produced is one of the most important, and this allows consumers to take pleasure in eating. At the end of this excerpt, Berry concludes that eating food with pleasure is one of the greatest connections we have to the world.
Berry seems to think that one must follow his list and way to really take pleasure in their food, but I feel like anyone should be able to decide this for themselves. Consider if someone simply hates how food is produced, how then would they ever get more pleasure out of their food if they learn more about its production and origin?
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