Inverting the Problem

I’m in a workshop right now on the business of food — a topic rife with cultural, economic, and political challenges.

Several days ago, I was having a conversation with some classmates about how we might help to better connect producers and consumers to each other in our various countries and contexts.

As we were chatting, I realized how deeply I’m habituated to assuming that cultural change must flow from political change: until we get the politics right, how can we possibly get a better food system?

I’m all for better politics and policy, but what if that approach is exactly backwards — or a cultural exercise in waiting for Godot?

If we focused on bringing farmers and eaters together over a delicious meal, rather than arguing over particular policy preferences at the highest levels, could we build a better food system — and see our way toward a healthier politics in the process?