Integrity, Honesty and Orientalist Food Discourse

“Yes, getting people to eat healthy vegetables and fruits and other products from wet markets is important; but the sanitation side is complex and you face all the horrors of these markets coming from China.  … But so much about these wet markets depends on what is grown and how and where.  In Europe and the US where the movement toward markets is huge but with high sanitation controls and with farmers with some honesty, it is simple.”

I was recently having an email discussion with an American food scholar, who has written quite a bit on the nutrition transition.  He was offering advice and sending helpful information and was broadly sympathetic to my argument about the importance of maintaining the wet markets.  However, as you can see from the quote above, there are some real stumbling blocks of the discursive kind that bear further discussion and consideration.  I was troubled by these words for a couple of reasons particularly. Continue reading