“I don’t even go to Stumptown,” said Paul Sykes, who makes bike fenders and bottle holders out of wood. “I go to a more local place.”
Not that Mr. Sykes opposes growth. Most of his business comes from the Internet.
“I sell these things all over the world,” he said of his products. “That’s the only way I can make any money.”
Ms. Lillien has been criticized for advocating a path to weight loss that is slippery with Cool Whip Lite, onion soup mix and other foods of debatable nutritional value. She says that the recipes reflect the reality of what American women eat, sometimes despite their best intentions. “I live in the middle of the supermarket,” she said: the aisles that are stocked with packaged processed foods, many of which are loathed by locavores and nutritionists alike.
Lawn mowing and baby-sitting are standard summer jobs for the enterprising teenager. Alexandra Reau, who is 14, combines a little bit of each: last year, she asked her dad to dig up a half acre of their lawn in rural Petersburg, Mich., so she could farm. Now in its second season, her Garden to Go C.S.A. (community-supported agriculture) grows for 14 members, who pay $100 to $175 for two months of just-picked vegetables and herbs. While her peers are hanging out at Molly’s Mystic Freeze and working out the moves to thatvideo, she’s flicking potato-beetle larvae off of leaves in her V-neck T-shirt and denim capris, a barrette keeping her hair out of her demurely made-up eyes. Who says the face of American farming is a 57-year-old man with a John Deere cap?
Raw-milk and other pure food obsessives are in love with a past that never really existed. The golden, creamy milk of those 19th-century farms killed people, often enough that public health crusaders fought for years for the protection of pasteurization. Our great-great-grandparents' farms were never meant to sustain the world; in 1898, in fact, the famed British chemist Sir William Crookes warned that without chemical fertilization, global famine loomed by the 1930s. And the pure-food, raw-milk, farms-of-our-forefathers movement would be so much more impressive—and appear so much more concerned for others—if it would trade some of its inspirational rhetoric for something I like to call healthy reality.