When acclaimed food reform writer, Michael Pollan, recently published a lengthy article critical of the Obama food reform legacy, he exposed a painful and debilitating rift in the food movement — realists versus idealists.
Food reform realists view incremental improvements in the food system as victories. They celebrate hard-won battles over policies, regulations or other initiatives, even when compromises at the negotiating table make the final product imperfect. Conversely, idealists are guided by their commendable view of what a perfect food system should be. To many idealists, compromising on their vision is akin to defeat.
When I first wrote about this topic with Bettina Elias Siegel in Civil Eats, we noted that realists are often advocates with experience in institutional or legislative change. …[They] know firsthand, how difficult it is to effect change.
Idealists, on the other hand, rarely have experience shepherding reform initiatives through legislatures or institutions in order to make their laudable vision of a food system a reality.
And that’s where the rift lies.
. . . .[T]he chasm between thought leaders, like Pollan, and the realists toiling in the system to move us closer to Pollan’s vision, is dangerously close to damaging the movement’s credibility.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Disheartening Divide Between Food Reform Realists And Idealists