Back Talk: Raj Patel
It's about dieting, not political action--about some ethic of control of the
self. It's much easier for media left and right to be thinking that if we
shop ethically and make the right choices, we will be free. We can only
be free if we get involved in the politics so we can make free choices."
~ Raj Patel
Once again, Christine Smallwood has produced a provocative "Back Talk" column at The Nation. You can find it here. This time the subject is Raj Patel, scholar, writer and activist whose new book is entitled Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System (Melville House, 2008). I've not read the book. But it apparently starts with a chapter on food riots (Patel mentions these briefly in the Balk Talk interview), is resolutely non-consumerist, and makes clear many of the non-obvious links between the food "choices" available to us and broader political-economic institutions.