When is a Centrist a Radical?


The answer, according to James E. Mcwilliams, is the moment when you enter the domain of food and take up position in the middle. In his book, “Just Food” he notes how polarizing the food wars can be: either you are a diehard supporter of organic farming or you are a “frankenfood” fan. “The dull but respectable place called the center” he finds, is a lonely place.

The subtitle of the book is “Where Locavores get it wrong and how we can truly eat responsibly” and this goes against the current push towards buying and eating locally. I started out with some scepticism but his essential arguement is convincing : eating locally may be a good plan on a personal level but we are not going to be able to solve the problems of the food system at the global level by eating and growing  only local, organic food. The book is an easy read, the evidence is presented in an accessible way. So, pick it  up if you can and see if you agree that “To be a centrist when it comes to food is, unfortunately, to be a radical.

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