On Mondays and Thursdays, I work in the welfare office in Roxbury, Massachusetts where I evaluate unemployed individuals to help to determine if their report of symptoms related to mental illness meets the criteria for federal or state disability benefits. I also see a few people pro bono who come to meet each week and talk about their lives. One man collects cans, and I’ve been seeing him weekly since July, 2011. Another person is a woman, in her twenties, alone in the world, drug and alcohol free, without dependents, who wants to make films; her mother died of AIDS a couple of years ago.
You might think that the people I see don’t have a relationship to the pressing issues in the food world today, but here’s the skinny:
No one thinks tasting menus are worth the time or money.
Most people I see don’t eat pork, but prefer instead chicken and vegetables and processed foods.
GMO labeling? Sure, OK.
Top Chef or The Chew? Most folks I see don’t watch TV as they can’t afford cable.
Sustainability? There’s one grocery store in the neighborhood. It’s a terrific Spanish-African place with amazing beans and fruits and vegetables.
Organic? If you’re paying.
Farm to Table? Obviously–farms are where food comes from.
And, yes, everyone is a locavore.