"…it’s easy to dismiss voting with your fork as merely a lifestyle choice, and an elite one at that. yet there is a hopeful kind of soft politics at work here, as an afternoon at any of america’s 7,800-plus farmers’ markets will attest. money-for-food is not the only transaction going on at the farmers’ markets; indeed, it may be the least of it…

neighbors are talking to neighbors. consumers meet producers. city meets country. kids discover what food is. activists circulate petitions. the farmers’ market has become the country’s liveliest new public square, an outlet for our communitarian impulses and a means of escaping, or at least complicating, the narrow role that capitalism usually assigns to us as “consumers.” at the farmers’ market, we are consumers, yes, but at the same time also citizens, neighbors, parents and cooks. in voting with our food dollars, we enlarge our sense of our “interests” from the usual concern with a good value to, well, a concern with values…”
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