think long about food

Gary Jones, psycho-signals from the muck:

Does it taste good and have a pleasing texture? How much does it cost? Is it readily available or must you jump through hoops to get it? The answer works both ways since preferences vary. Some people insist on paying large amounts for food. It’s a signaling mechanism to raise their social status and distinguish themselves from lesser humans. Some people may not have the money to buy status, but they have the energy to jump through hoops to get rare if not costly foods, and raise their status that way. Some base their status on “getting it bought right”. For them low cost may not be a necessity so much as a signaling method proving their astuteness and attention to opportunity.

I don’t judge. My beef is good and it’s produced in good ways. I’m satisfied with those measures of performance. But I’ll charge you however much you require. I’ll sell you fillets at $20 a pound if that’s what blows your skirt up. Happy to oblige. I’ll also sell them to you for $6 but make you wait and jump through some hoops if that’s what you seek. Same for unusual cuts for the foodie that can cook. What we rural folks call “boiling beef”, meaning that it’s tough but flavorful and so suitable only for soups and stock, also happens to be very nutritious. It’s either cheap peasant food or exotic functional food depending on what you want. As an expert of sorts it’s all of these things to me, so I can appreciate whatever perspective you hold.

When you think long about food it becomes clear that the whole idea of some umbrella label such as organic can’t possibly be of any real value. It’s either too general to be useful or too specific to be applicable. It’s the wrong question, and even if answered only gives you one of the many, many answers that you might need.