It has become more evident to me over the years that there is a split (far from even) in our society between people who understand the ramifications of our food supply and do their best to eat accordingly and people who don't have the slightest idea that most of what we are offered to eat is more foodstuff than food.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, though, this bifurcation does not strictly play out along socioeconomic lines. I've seen the insides of enough refrigerators and cupboards across all demographics to know that household income and formal education are not indicators of eating patterns.
So much of this ties in with how, culturally, we think about food and nutrition in this country. Thankfully, though, we are paying greater heed to the issues at hand (obesity, health care costs, loss of productivity and intelligence, etc.) and starting to reeducate our kids. It seems like some of our teenagers know more about the food chain (grass-fed vs. corn-fed animals, sustainability, how vegetables grow, etc.) than those born one to three decades earlier.
I cooked with a group of 16-year-olds the other day and they had studied these issues in school last year. Unfortunately, other teenagers I meet are as clueless as their parents and grandparents. But, I believe, knowledge begets knowledge and we are just in the first stages of this rebirth. The omnipresent headlines—whether they be about the dangers of pesticides or Whole Foods announcing it will label foods containing genetically engineered ingredients—only help to popularize the movement.
As Michael Moss, the New York Times writer and author of "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us," said recently on Leonard Lopate's radio show, "I think we are starting to see people across America, middle class people especially, who are realizing that there are some little things they can do to move from being mindless eaters to mindful eaters."
May mindful eaters one day rule the world.