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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fight For Your Right to Big Mac

Apparently a new cry has supplanted the "Know your farmer!" refrain or the "Keep your crazy hormones out of my meat!" mantra:

"Don't let them take away your McRib!"

Sigh. So it goes with our reactionary, polarized and unnecessarily politicized society. Now the Sarah Palins and Rush Limbaughs of the world are attacking smart and healthy food policy as "lies" and elitist propoganda.

With today's article about the trend, though, the Washington Post's Brent Cunningham and Jane Black—last seen locally at Cooking for Solutions—wisely point out that while the right's argument that Twinkies are healthier than we think (Limbaugh) and rises in meat prices are part of a lefty conspiracy to turn us into vegetarians (Glenn Beck) might be "wrong-headed," there is a growing culture gap that bears monitoring and addressing.

The gap, which in part recasts a nutrition-based approach to healthy eating as a debate between wholesome food-eating elitists and budget-constrained everymen, is as dangerous as obesity. Just take a peek at the gridlock that's resulted from the false conversation over climate change. With ourselves and the environment, we can't choose to think the existing ailments have nothing to do with what we're feeding into the system.

It's also vital, even and especially considering prices like Whole Food's, to keep the debate focused on what's most valuable and cost effective all told (as the article points out, obesity-related disease costs a cool $150 billion annually) and not what's cheapest right now ($2.59 McRib), and even more important to fuel food-stamp system implementation at farmers markets whenever possible.

And as the authors are figuring out, with some planning, quality foodstuffs aren't cost prohibitive in the least—about the cost of a McRib, by their calculations.

The article's worth checking out. There's a reason it's been e-mailed more than any other Post piece on this Monday.