David Orr Ecological Literacy Essay

Food should be affordable and available, but the way we're going, to give just one example, California's Central Valley is going to lose its fertility within the next twenty or thirty years.

Farmers know that living soil is precious and must be cared for and replenished, and that doing that isn't cheap.

Fast-Food Values and Slow Food Values * * * Alice Waters Alice Waters is the founder and owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California.

Named best restaurant in the United States by Gourmet magazine in 2001, Chez Panisse exemplifies her philosophy of serving the most delicious organic products, only when they are in season-the practice that has become known worldwide as California Cuisine.

Here are some of the most important fast-food values and assumptions: Food is cheap and abundant, and this abundance is permanent.

We act as if we believe that because food is cheap and accessible to most Americans today, it will remain so without our having to change our ways of growing, selling, and preparing it.Together they suppress variety, limit our choices, and manipulate our desires by hooking us on sugar and salt.Fast-Food Values What do our children learn from fast food?Over three decades, the restaurant has developed a network of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures it a steady supply of pure and fresh ingredients.Waters is author of eight books, the most recent of which is Chez Panisse Fruit (2002).What lessons do they absorb when they eat a Happy Meal?What are the values that fast food inculcates in them?The Edible Schoolyard (ESY), which Waters initiated in 1995 at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Middle School and for which the Center for Ecoliteracy was one of the initial funders, has played a central role in CEL's work with food in schools (see "Revolution Step-by-Step: On Building a Climate for Change" in Part III and "Sustainability-A New Item on the Lunch Menu" in Part IV).ESY has received international attention by demonstrating that garden experiencesand cooking classes can be integrated into a whole curriculum, and that the way to convince young people to eat nutritious food is not to lecture them, but to say, "Try this and see if it doesn't taste better." In 1996 Waters created the Chez Panisse Foundation, with a mission to transform public education and to support projects that integrate gardening, cooking, daily lunches prepared on campus with fresh ingredients, and the core academic curriculum.Fast food is cheap only because we haven't yet reckoned the real cost of farm subsidies, dependence on Middle Eastern oil, and depleted soil.We're only beginning to wake up to the health consequences of cheap food.


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