Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Competition and One-Upsmanship

I came across an interesting article today thanks to my friend Dairy Carrie.
John Lancaster wrote a piece for the New Yorker called," A Foodie Repents."
This is the link.
In the article John talks about how much of the food movement is based on insecurity of who we are, and the thought of being able to reinvent ourselves through food.
He makes a lot of good points, but a think he missed the biggest one.
For some reason we as humans need to outdo the next guy. Bigger, better, faster, stronger.
Tractor pulls came to the public in the 70's. Today pulling tractors can have jet engines.
Someone invents a pogo stick and someone tries to cross the country on it.
Every wedding proposal is better than the last. If you love you, the proposal needs to be an event.
A bride wants her wedding to be the event everyone is talking about. Quote,"I'm going to have penquins at my wedding. And I need more bling on my dress." (A real quote, and $10,000 more bling)
There's even a thing called mommy shaming. "I'm a better mom than you are because I only use an all-organic diaper service to wash my organic cotton reusable diapers."
As disposable incomes have gone up, more money has gone into the eating experience. 
It used to be supper, today it's an eating experience.
Don't get me wrong, I love people that are passionate about their craft, and that includes chefs, but sometimes the passion can become a win at all costs passion.
"I care more than you do, more than you possibly could."
I don't know what the answer is, but I know we in animal ag need to respond.
One concrete thing we can do is to let people know who we are. We can no longer be a faceless crowd that is easy to attack whenever someone has an axe to grind.
That means putting ourselves out there. Letting folks see us, and in today's world, good or bad, that means social media.

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