Food Politics

Jonathan Safran Foer Buys Food on a Global Scale

Photo: Richard De Luca/Zuma/NewsCom

Brooklyn vegetarian Jonathan Safran Foer is making the media rounds this week to tout his new book, Eating Animals (reviewed in the magazine by our own Sam Anderson). Yesterday on NPR, we caught him nimbly circumlocuting the sustainable-food-is-too-expensive-for-normal-people dilemma.

Host Guy Raz: “You visited a place called the Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, and you profile a man named Frank Reese, the owner. And you described that this ranch is an example of a place where ethical meat is produced. The question I have about this place is that his meat isn’t necessarily affordable for many Americans. It can cost five to seven times the price of, you know, say a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket. So what do you say to people who make the argument there’s a little bit of elitism here?”

Foer: Well, you referred to the kind of meat that you would buy in the supermarket, and factory farms happily tell a similar story that it’s cheap and that Frank’s meat is expensive. It’s not true. I mean, it’s true if you’re only looking at the price at the cash register.

Factory farming has externalized all of their costs. Who do you think pays if factory farming, if animal agriculture is the number one cause of global warming? Who pays for that? Do you think we don’t pay for it? Do you think they’re going to ultimately pay for it?

For Foer, Meat Is Murder … And Worse [All Things Considered/NPR]

Jonathan Safran Foer Buys Food on a Global Scale