there is some really interesting arguing going on about confinement pork right now.  

james mcwilliams, a really intelligent (vegetarian) history professor at texas state university wrote this op-ed which appeared in the nyt last week: free-range trichinosis

predictably (but nonetheless brilliantly) marion nestle presents us with this insightful response:

i wrote an email to mr. mcwilliams today saying that, though i don't really buy his argument (the numbers didn't add up for me even before i read marion's reply), i do appreciate people looking at the food system's problems from different angles.  it's the only way we'll ever fix anything.  

it's good to get out of berkeley, and my recent trip to seattle reminded me that:

1) everyone doesn't and can't think about and prioritize food the way i do.  heck, if i didn't do the work i do, i couldn't afford to eat the way i eat.  i'd still eat organically and healthily, but i'd eat a lot less meat and a lot more beans.  

and 2) there are people outside of the cp/bay area circles who are just as passionate about eating locally, seasonally, organically and in an environmentally friendly way.  i was really impressed with what i saw and felt going on around food in seattle.  in fact, i felt that in many ways, the movement to eat sustainably was actually more genuine and far less buzzwordy up there than it is here.  that being said, we went to two farmer's markets in two days, and i can count the vegetables i saw at both on one hand.  if such a green, forward thinking city has so little to offer at the farmer's market at the cusp of spring, then what are people in the much less liberal (and much more cold) midwest and north supposed to do?  do we really expect them to eat rutabaga and kohlrabi until july?  we need to start looking at things more open-mindedly, i think, if we really expect everyone to get on board.  

UPDATE: here is a post by ed levine on the topic