Industrial Harvest

Flanagan attacks school gardens by sarah kavage
January 19, 2010, 11:57 am
Filed under: Food Geography & Culture | Tags: , , ,

Anyone else see this in the Atlantic? 

The author, Caitlin Flanagan, essentially argues that (particularly in budget crises) school garden programs are foolish attempts by well intentioned yet clueless privledged people (namely Alice Waters); they are tangental to a school’s mandate to teach readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmetic; and they trap poor kids in a cycle of physical labor for generations.  The essay seems designed to 1) provoke and 2) invoke a big load of white liberal guilt.  I’m glad to roll with both if there’s a subtle and well-reasoned argument behind it, but any good points she might have are buried in oversimplification and inflammatory prose.  I’ve never heard of a school that sends kids out in the hot sun to pick lettuce all day as part of school curriculum, as the first paragraph implies. 

Fortunately, the response by the Atlantic’s own food writer saves me from having to pick this piece apart all on my own.  The article seems to have unleashed a veritable shitstorm of commentary – see more here, here and here.