During a time of year that is culturally characterized by excessive food-centered festivities, (Nation of Change, “What’s for Dinner?”) Jim Hightower asks us to consider, not only what we are consuming and where it comes from, but ways in which we can cultivate sustainable alternatives to the dominant agri-business framework that determines how most of us produce and consume food in this country.
Through narratives ranging from Midwest farmers committed to sustainable practices as a way of working with nature and not against her, to inner city organizations who provide top quality, but low cost organic foods to low income families/individuals, Hightower demonstrates that food is sitting at a busy intersection of ecological, cultural, and economic complexities. Perhaps more importantly, however, he shows us ways in which people have overcome these complexities to create sustainable and just food systems in their communities.
Whether you’re a rural farmer, an urban restaurant owner, or none of the above, your basic choice of what to eat affects both the local and national food system. So in this season of colorful and bountiful holiday feasts especially, it is important to reflect on how our choices impact America’s “food culture” and consider utilizing one of the many sustainable food resources he provides.