Food is Not Food

I suppose nothing about the Industrial Ag mindset should surprise me anymore. But I admit to being taken a little aback by a claim that appears in an article in an Industrial Ag magazine this month.

Discussing our ongoing cultural conversation about food, and specifically how we differentiate foods when making our food choices, the author writes: “Frankly, it’s tiring. Food is food.”

Food is food??

This is a particularly remarkable claim in that it comes from someone who presumably produces food for a living. It shows how little regard we’ve come to have for the food that the system generates. It’s just “food.” No different from any other food. Food, after all, is food.

But however much the industrial system would like us to believe that, consumers aren’t going to buy that claim. Nor should they, of course.

What would we think of parents if we asked them what day care they were selecting for their children, and their response was “Day care is day care”?

When we choose our physicians, do we believe that “doctors are doctors”? Would it be sensible to claim that “teachers are teachers”? That “medicine is medicine”?

The mere fact that something can be ingested, doesn’t make it equivalent to all other ingestible things.

People should have the freedom to choose what they will put in their bodies. But it should be an informed decision.

Eggs are not eggs.



Pork is not pork.



Vegetables are not vegetables.



Food is not food.


23 comments on “Food is Not Food

  1. farmerkhaiti says:

    I love this post Bill!! Out here in the midwest, I see these fields of “conventional” crops (corn/soybeans) and always think- isn’t it weird the wildlife doesn’t eat this stuff? They know it is NOT FOOD!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your picture tell it all!!!!! The farms of my grandparents are becoming a thing of the past ….ancient history… where everyone worked the land and the animals and had direct and personal contact with both.


    • Bill says:

      I’m afraid you’re right. Every year there are fewer farms and those that remain are larger. Animal husbandry seems largely to be a thing of the past. But I’m encouraged by the maverick small farmers out there. As long as the public supports them, we have a chance. That’s why it’s so important that we emphasize education and the truth that not all “food” is created equal.


  3. Norma Chang says:

    Agree with the above comment, your pictures tell all.


  4. Someone saying food is food has never had my first wife’s cooking. I must say I have never seen a more happier pig then the picture of the little piggy in the tub.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      That’s a happy pig all right. Of course that’s supposed to be their drinking water. They have a big wallow for lounging around in. Maybe the smile is partly mischievous.


  5. ain't for city gals says:

    In a way they are right because what they are selling is definitely NOT food….it is chemicals, antibiotics etc. It should not be allowed to be sold as food…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, the old saying sort holds true about if it looks like food (wait it doesn’t always look like natural food), smells like food, (Hmmm doesn’t smell like food), and (big sigh) tastes like food, then it must be food doesn’t seem to validate that what we eat today is food. If a person has any taste buds at all, a taste difference can be detected. I’m pretty sure that what we have today in the food industry is not the way that mankind was supposed care for creation. I’m betting the crate pigs didn’t have that mischievous pig grin on their faces like your pigs have. Any thing in creation will survive better if loved and cared for including plants and animals.

    The concept of globalization is even worse than I thought. The statements about not only eating a burger at McDonald’s with meat that didn’t come from the same cow but most gladly didn’t come from a cow in the same state. Seventy three ingredients in a McDonald’s hamburger? From several different countries? No more did I get finished reading that when I saw an advertisement on TV that was proud that the seasonings for their fast food came from three different countries. And Nutella was really an eye opener with ingredients from practically every continent. Local and seasonal eating has been gone a long time. The concept that many small local farms with diversity would keep the prices lower and make food more available makes sense to me. The government subsidies and cheap petroleum oil for transportation has changed all the dynamics in that equation. The food movement and homesteading still has a small remnant that’s making a difference in food education. May it grow and bring our country back to healthy eating.

    Have a great seasonal food day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Funny that you characterize that grin as mischievous–that’s exactly what I just said to Gordon. 🙂

      The globalization of the food system is nothing short of astonishing. I used those two examples but could’ve easily cited many more.

      Here’s a radical thought–how about localized food economies? What if we raised food for our communities? It’s an old idea whose time is coming again I think. The crazy stuff we’re doing now isn’t sustainable over the long haul.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Wow, really!?! “Food is just food…” That could explain a lot about attitudes. I’d be very interested to hear what else this poor, “tired” person had to say… Is this available online, by any chance?
    I LOVE your smiley piggies!!
    But y’know, perhaps there’s just not all that much to differentiate one sort of “food” from another of the sort this fellow eats? (After all, one piece of cardboard tastes pretty much like another, hey?; )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I don’t know. It’s from this month’s edition of Progressive Farmer, so possibly.

      Even if you discard all the other things that distinguish good food from bad food, there’s still taste. But sadly many (maybe most) people these days don’t even know what real food is supposed to taste like.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. EllaDee says:

    ‘Food is food’ when for people who look at it from the perspective of a corporate balance sheet.
    Love the pics… they sum it up beautifully 🙂


  9. smcasson says:

    My family is learning more and more how different Food can be from “food”. The deeper you look in the industrial ag system, the worse it is…


  10. shoreacres says:

    This is so true. I’ve often thought about how “seeing” isn’t always seeing, but I’ve never thought of this comparison. My new post is all about a duck and I squabbling over real food. The good news is that we both recognized its value!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I’m afraid we’re draining the life and value out of many things that we should cherish and love. Food is only one of them, but it’s surely one of the most important.


  11. Your comparison shots are great, Bill. They truly make your point. Food is not food. –Curt


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