The burgeoning food movement is both remarkable and unremarkable at the same time.
It’s remarkable because despite the corporate ownership of our modern industrial food system (and the very large advertising budget that comes along with corporate ownership), people are recognising it’s huge flaws and making other choices for their food purchases. Local and organic are increasingly seen by retailers as good promotional tools to engage the discerning consumer. To make these buying choices, people often have to go out of their way, sometimes to a few different shops instead of the convenience and time saving of one large supermarket.
Making a ‘conscious’ choice such as where to buy your food has an interesting impact on a person’s psyche. It immediately delivers a sense of empowerment. According to the World Bank, empowerment is “the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes”. The first step to a changing habit is awareness, and making a conscious choice to ‘shop elsewhere’ or ‘shop consciously’, helps to cement that choice and expand the sense of empowerment felt by that person.
So it’s remarkable that in the face of mass convenience, people’s buying behaviours are changing. This makes the everyday consumer a food activist without even realising it!!
In addition to being remarkable, it’s also unremarkable that this is happening. One of the areas of our lives over which we still hold most of the choices is the purchase of our food. It’s an unremarkable act (or everyday activity) that individuals buy food for themselves and for their families on a daily and weekly basis. With such activity undertaken by individuals so frequently and persistently, the tide was bound to turn. And it has. Not massively yet, but I believe it is on its way. With so much autonomy in the hands of every single individual pursuing an unremarkable daily practice, it should be no surprise that re-awareness would eventually build.
Shifting your buying choices must ultimately make a difference. I salute our modern remarkable, unremarkable food activists!!