I meant to post a link to this article when it came out about two weeks ago and well…forgot. It is a really well-written article that highlights a really big concern with the food movement world-wide; how do we make good food accessible to everyone? Amyitis’ initial mission was to provide produce to Boogaloos restaurant as a reaction to this very issue. I thought, “get a restaurant employee (me) to grow local organic produce for a greasy-spoon style diner= affordable prices for priceless food, violla!” Well, for those that have been following our story here at Amyitis, you know that, while we made some waves, nothing quite worked out as planned.
Streams of resistance from many points on high lead us into the heart of this quandary when we started growing for The Corner. We started out aiming to make healthy food cheap and accessible as we thought possible (and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but even eating out at a diner isn’t cheap anymore) but instead ended up growing exclusively for the most upscale restaurant in our fleet. Why? Well, for so many reasons, not the least of which being, menu, client volume, and product consistency, the upper-crust Corner was the only establishment truly equipped to handle the produce. We were well-intentioned but foiled. Why? Frankly, the roots of the issue go deep and touch on many different sources. The blogging world nor I are prepared (or even interested) in the type of diatribe I could go on about food, accessibility, and equal share to all parties concerned. For the record however I will suggest that the heart of this issue is that our cultural movement around food has caused us to open our hearts and minds but not always our wallets. Though a generalization, it is clear that developed nations (primarily the US) don’t value the true cost of our food, that which sustains us. Why, I ask, do we live in such a way where being a farmer is a dead-end job? Better yet, how do we change that? If we all understood and supported with our mouths and our wallets the true costs of food, what would our world look like? What would our schools look like? I want to live in a world where the local hero is the woman who grows my tomatoes and our national heros are the suits who are figuring out how to make access to good food the rule not the exception. Here at Amyitis, we are scheming for ways to bring fresh food to people who need it and pay our rent at the same time. While we don’t have all of the answers, we know the issues. Maybe with your help we can all make some headway. Read the above article and make some waves with us.