Sunday, December 26, 2004

French poll

My mother and I did some grocery shopping at the Whole Foods Market in Albuquerque today. Whilst pondering the pros and cons of a particular item, a nearby shopper interjected that it sounded like a good product, "except that it's from France". I calmly responded in tempo, "There's nothing wrong with France," which fetched the reply, "There's plenty wrong with France." The man walked away. I, undercaffeinated and therefore unenergetic, declined to pursue him for further details.

Should I have attempted to open a dialogue with him? Given that his motivations may have been based on politicized misinformation, should I have attempted to lead him from a path of jingoistic xenophobia toward a more enlightened, international view? Does it matter that I am a liberal living in a low-population purple state where a single vote could conceivably swing an election?

Happy Boxing Day!


Blogger Qian said...

I would've affected a french accent and said to him, "Well, your mother serves red wine with fish!"

Hope everyone had a good Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza/Festivus.

12/28/2004 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Uhm, do you really think there's nothing wrong with France. I certainly am no expert, but would guess that there's plenty wrong with France. Of course, I'd also say that there's plenty wrong with the USA.

So the relevant question is, does it matter to you whether the food you're buying comes from the USA versus France versus etc. From a pure foodie point of view, I say sometimes it definitely does. From a moral view, it's much less clear, and it seems to me much too deep a discussion to pursue with a stranger at a supermarket.

WRT wine... I don't buy much (only for cooking), but when I do I prefer to buy South American wines. A significant part of the decision is probably related to price, but I also like the idea of supporting farmers in developing countries. I'd probably be the world's worst wine critic, but as far as I can tell, and I've never done controlled experiments, but I think I might even be getting a better flavor (at least of the low end things I buy).

1/02/2005 11:03:00 PM  

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