“‘…everything eventually morphs into the way the world is.'”
“‘You have a choice of getting sad about all that or moving on. We tried hard to build a cooperative community and a local food system, but at the end of the day it wasn’t successful. This is just lunch for most people. Just lunch. We can call it sacred, we can talk about communion, but it’s just lunch.”‘
Gene Kahn, founder of Cascadian Farm, as quoted my Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma
I’m still trying to wrap my head around a few things, about life and the world, and the way things come together or fall apart. This may be what has led me into this “business” in the first place, this business of learning and teaching and everything else attached to that. I’ll pick up a book, and I’ll read it, not really expecting anything, and then certain ideas will stand out and make sense in ways they never have before, and for reasons I can’t seem to articulate or understand. I’m still trying to put these particular ideas together and sometimes writing makes that easier or at least makes it more real.
When I was thinking about this food system that Pollan describes, and the ways in which the “organic” food system has come to, in many ways, imitate what it has long tried to separate from itself, I thought “How odd is that?” Not really that odd actually. It’s as odd as counterculture hippies becoming business executives. Parents, who swore up and down they wouldn’t ever act like their parents did, finding the same words coming out of their mouths. Or schools swinging back and forth between progressive and standardized teaching methods, depending on which hand society is currently playing.
Everything, eventually, fits into the way the world is. Not the way the world should be, or the way the world could be, or the way the world might be in reality. It’s about fitting in, and having a worldview that is in line with the majority. It’s very hard to live outside those limits. And that’s why an independent farming cooperative like Cascadian becomes just another part of General Mills. That’s why Whole Foods may have started with a great many ideals, but gave many of them up to stay solvent. That’s why teachers can speak very elegantly about preparing their students for the future, when in reality they are just preparing them for next week’s or next month’s test.
In the mean time, everything put in place to fix the problems or fix the fixes, only seem to make things worse. Or seen another way, every fix brings something closer to the way the world currently is or thinks.