The Corner

Warren, Warren, Warren . . .

Hey, I like grass-fed beef and buffalo too, and cherish fresh produce over what one usually finds in a supermarket chain, but your claim that “food is a thing found in nature,” is just false. Most animals we eat have been domesticated — as in taken out of nature — for centuries. Domestication, from the beginning, included breeding and human control.

If you insist on “natural” food you m ay well go hungry, as most crops are even more “unnatural.” Corn, for instance, is a human creation. It never existed in nature. Native Americans created it centuries ago through primative forms of genetic manipulation. In short, the use of available scientific knowledge to develop and alter our food sources is as old as human civilization, so there is nothing “untraditional” about it.

As for your claim that “real food is dull in comparison” to cheaper, processed stuff, I beg to differ again. Fresh, expertly prepared, unprocessed food is heavenly. The problem is that it is expensive to purchase and extremely time-consuming to prepare at home. While I love to eat that way, I also enjoy not having to spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy such a meal. In that regard, less expensive processed stuff serves a useful purpose.

Finally, let’s also recognize the “progressive” implications of the food industry: cheaper and more abundant food. There’s a reason “a chicken in every pot” was once a promising campaign slogan. It’s because chicken (and quality meat) were very costly items beyond the reach of many families. Because food is cheaper, more people have access to culinary choices that were once the exclusive province of the rich.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.


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