What are economics of food production? That's the central question behind New Grub Street, a Columbia Journalism Review essay from Christopher Shea that attempts to sort through the claims and counter-claims from the food (writer) wars. It begins:
Time was, a war of words between a food writer and an organic-foodsretailer would have attracted the interest of maybe seven people in your local food co-op–a bit of chatter over the brown-rice bin and everyone would move on. Those of us in a Safeway with our Perdue roasters and our broccoli avec a hint of pesticide would not have known that an argument took place. But the recent exchanges between Michael Pollan, author of the 2006 bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, are, if not squarely in the mainstream, awfully close to it.
Far from another polemic (hey, I've got a stake in the game), Shea seeks a middle ground between the rhetorical extremes. I find it refreshing.