To Do and Not To Do

Last year, I didn’t go to Good Food Fest Chicago due to a very frustrating mix up with them. This year, I just… didn’t.

It’s a little odd, I have to say. Last year was easier. I was sustained in my not going by my sheer frustration with FamilyFarmed.Org, who puts on the conference. This year, I made no conscious decisions and ended up not going. And, as it arrives here in Chicago, I find myself with a few regrets. But only a few.

My main interest and passion, when it comes to Good Food Fest, is the food policy summit. And, if I’d thought about it more, I maybe would have gone to just that. But, by now, I’m scheduled to work. And that’s a better choice, I think.

My relationship with food politics & policy is strained, frankly. I haven’t really figured out how to live the life I want to live, much less how to move and act and push for policies that make sense. I want to learn and to mingle with people who also want to improve the food situation, which is why I’ve attended so many food related cons over the years.

But I’m becoming disillusioned “the movement.” I’ve learned a lot. I’ve watched others learn. And, frustratingly, I’ve seen completely out of touch comments that folks don’t see as problematic, or worse laud as fantastic. It’s exhausting. And incredibly discouraging.

But I also find it impossible to stop working toward being better and pushing for better. We all deserve better. We deserve access to healthful food. We deserve to know we’re not moving toward a post-antibiotic future.

So, while I can’t bring myself to go to Good Food Fest (or Edible Institute, for the same reasons) this year, or maybe not for awhile, I am trying to remember something I used to say a lot, and keep it in focus:

I envision social progress as, effectively, a wheel. In my head, it’s a wooden wagon wheel, but it could be a bike wheel or anything of the same nature. Everything is connected to everything else, and affecting one part is going to impact another part. It’s not going to move on it’s own, but it’s generally predisposed to move.

The way I see it, everyone is focused on moving the damn wheel, but it’s too big a wheel for anyone to move by themselves, or even to see completely, so we all end up pushing on one or two spokes that matter most to us, adding our weight to that of others also pushing on the same spokes. There’s plenty of us to focus on various spokes, so the wheel eventually moves.

Or so I fucking hope.

2 thoughts on “To Do and Not To Do

  1. Is that out-of-touch comment by the author of that rage-inducing patronizing “no time to cook” article? I should write a post about that when I’m in need of a good day’s rage.

    Good post, and I understand both your hope and disillusionment about our food future. Keep pushing that wheel and encouraging others to do the same. Maybe we’ll get there.

Comments are closed.