A campaign on Facebook is encouraging Americans to assert "food independence" on July 4th and enjoy sustainable holiday picnics as an inspiration to others.The effort drew the attention of Huffington Post columnist Leslie Hatfield, who declared in an article published yesterday that "eating local food is patriotic."
Hatfield contacted the director of UC Cooperative Extension in Ventura County, Rose Hayden-Smith, to get her take on food and patriotism. Hayden-Smith just finished her dissertation on the history of U.S. Victory Gardens at UC Santa Barbara.
She told Hatfield that demonstrations of American patriotism have often been linked to food, going back to the American Revolution, when Americans dumped British tea into the Boston Harbor rather than pay taxes on it.
"Many of the foods we traditionally associate with the Fourth of July - including apple pie - reflect the diverse mix of immigrant heritages that make our nation strong and unique," Hayden-Smith was quoted. "Like people, food ways have mingled, creating new and unique cultural expressions."
Hatfield seemed taken aback by the suggestion that apple pie is not all American. Hayden-Smith told her apple pie's roots go back to the 14th century, not in America, but in Germany, Holland and England.
Returning to her point, Hatfield wrote that she believes eating industrially-produced foods helps support systems which have put a lot of farmers out of business and made a lot of people a lot less healthy."Let's get patriotic in the easiest, most delicious way possible," Hatfield suggests, "by eating some awesome food."