Elitism

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the concept of elitism lately.  Then today, I saw two articles representing opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to food.

The first talks about a new measure proposed for South LA, where construction of fast food restaurants would be halted for at least a year, in order to keep more unhealthy food from flooding the poorest area of the city.  While that might be one way to handle the growing obesity epidemic, it’s awfully insulting.  The second talks about “lazy locavores,” people who hire a gardener to tend their backyard garden. 

I could talk for a long time about the pros and cons of each issue- but I think that what’s more important is the mere fact that we have such a divide in this country when it comes to food.  From people who have so much money to spend on food they can hire someone to personally grow it for them to those for who need to choose the cheapest option per calorie- fast food, well, it’s a problem.

I don’t have a solution, but I think it’s an issue worth considering.

Of course, that also brings the issue here, is veganism elite? There are certainly vegans of modest means out there- look at Melomeals, for example. There’s books written for cooking vegan food as cheaply as possible. Beans, legumes, rice and flour are all cheap. When you go into the store and only buy produce, you’ll walk out without spending a lot of money. There are certainly plenty of expensive vegan products out there, but you can live without them- so if veganism is elite, it’s not necessarily from a monetary perspective.

What is elite? Is it an attitude? Is it a perceived attitude?

I think elitism is in the eye of the beholder, but it comes from a place where there’s a division between the so called “haves” and “have-nots.”

What do you think?

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