Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

From Katharine Mieszkowski's Salon.com interview with Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Face on Your Plate:

Right now there is a lot of attention to the question of where our food comes from. But there have been exposés about slaughterhouses going back to Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle," published in 1906. Why isn't there more change?

But there is.

I just heard a fantastic statistic that at Stanford University, a quarter of the undergraduate student body is vegetarian. That is amazing to me. It means young people are thinking about this.

People are more aware than ever before of these questions, not in the vast numbers that we may hope for, but I would say that more today than at any other point in our history.

But there's a huge gulf between the cultural conversation about food that's going on right now and the actual, average American diet. How do you see bridging that divide?

I've never seen so much attention paid to a single garden in my life as the Obama's vegetable garden. What a wonderful thing! Here you have, for $200, you plant 55 different vegetables on 1,000 square feet instead of a dead-end land. I think Alice Waters was responsible for that. She wants to see kids getting really wonderful, fresh vegetables from their own school gardens, and I think that over the next 10 or 15 years that will happen.

Awareness is changing. I've very optimistic. Now, is Obama going to read "The Face on Your Plate" and say, well, that did it, I'm becoming a vegan tomorrow? No, that's not going to happen.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue