Survival: Whose Gonna Feed You?

SOLD OUT: At a time when Americans are thinking hard about diet, who really chooses what we eat?

October 18, 2012

I’m on a long road trip across the country from Seattle right now, and it’s making me think a lot about food, particularly with Fo

od Day 2012 coming up so soon. Also because of my snacks. Food thoughts are inevitable on this sort of significant sedan-sojourning schlep, particularly if you care about what you eat or have dietary restrictions.

I’m gluten-intolerant and I work in public health, so I try to eat sustainable and healthy food as much as possible, but I have to be prepared. To avoid the not-terribly-strong pull of fast food, my car is full of apples, gluten-free crackers, smoked fish, carrots, nuts, and the like, all positioned so I can reach them easily without taking my eyes off the road, even in parts of North Dakota where the road doesn’t seem to bend for hours. I munch on apples and silently curse Prairie Public Radio for having their pledge drive while I have little to do but listen and drive and snack and think.

I think as I pass numerous fast food restaurants on this trip. They offer the illusion of choice: Cheeseburgers or fried chicken! Homey biscuits or jaunty wraps! Chicken tenders or tendonitis from gripping the wheel too hard! I realize I might need a nap.

I pull off at a rest stop to doze and stretch my legs and reorganize my snacks. That’s where I notice it: the magazine distribution box in the picture to the right.  The bottom sign says: Do it Yourself: FIX – Diabetes – Asthma – Obesity. A sign inside the box says SOLD OUT(READ FULL ARTICLE)

Deborah (Debs) Gardner, MFA MPH is a writer focusing on health, food, and sustainability. She was the 2011 Food Day West Coast Coordinator. She can be reached via her website at

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