The Dumb down Consumer

"I never knew how cruel foie gras (goose liver) is," said a friend while we were having dinner together. I looked wide-eyed and half amused at the comment. She knew how goose and ducks were force-fed but it never dawn on her on how cruel it was. She was quite detached about the cruelty issue.

Call me a snob and elitest, I scoff at people who don't care where what they are eating comes from or how it was grown or processed. You should be aware of what you are eating. Sad to say, many of us are pretty much dumb-down consumers.

The dumb-down result didn't just happen over-night. Here in Singapore, since 1970s, consumers were slowly created and the dumbing down process begun.

I would also say it is the lack of awareness, the disconnection of our agricultural roots and the cover-ups from industralised food chain producers that helped evolute people into the such un-educated detached consumer.

"Don't tell me how it was processed or where it comes from, how endangered it is, I don't wanna know, as long as it taste good, I don't care."
- a closet-eyed self declared gourmet acquaintance

For me, I use to be an un-aware eater with a strange curious yearning on how food was cooked and where it was grown. I had grown a little disgusted at mass-produced food and how food affect and harm our environment. Endangered animals and seafood are still being eaten, and more animals and fishes are reaching endangered levels. Our land continue to be poisoned by growing pesticide and nitrogen based fertilisers. We have de-evoluted into a singular crop based agriculture and industralised food chain. Many of our beautiful wide-range fruits, vegetables and other produce has been on a steep decline to extinction.

Reading the local food forums, often I come across self-declared food gourmets raving about some rare and endangered produce. Here in Singapore, we are known as food lovers, however I beg to differ. These so-call foodies are rather ignorant gluttons. Most are obsessed about eating, but don't really care much about how the food was produced.

For me, the worst kind of person is the kind who is all too happy to eat anything and turn a blind eye, brushing under the carpet where food comes from and how it was treated. We need to be aware of what we are eating only then we can make our own decisions, judgements and actions. These very decisions and actions affect our environment, our planet.

Alice Louise Waters , influential American food activist on sustainable food, once said "Eating is a political act, and the choices you make have consequences beyond the table"

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