While visiting my favorite restaurant the other night, I politely asked where the hamburger meat came from. I received kind of snitty grin from my server with a reply that it came from “a cow.” With that came an inappropriate yuk yuk. I shot back immediately that it was entirely appropriate to know that your hamburger was locally grown and that the animal was humanely treated in its journey to my plate. I also indicated that I was willing to pay the premium price for this kind of meat. In a huff, my server called me a “food snob” and walked off. Dear Foodie, what is a food snob? –Accused in Tennessee
Like the terms and expressions “local” food movement, farm to table, locavore, farm to fork, food desert victims and yes, food snob or snot as some would say, we are in the midst of the birth pangs of a movement. As such we are in the wild west so to speak of deciding exactly what it is – and its attendant analysis of who are the good guys and the bad guys. To decide that important factor goes back to our founding – it is as American as John Wayne and the shootout at OK corral. A food snob lies at the end of a continuum and is said to embody this space: the upper middle class/affluent, self indulgent, picky, “let them (the peasants) eat cake” of Marie Antoinette fame. Like Miss Antoinette, food snobs are said to be indifferent to the plight of the masses who cannot afford anything but potato chips and depict them as slobs sitting on the couch in their run down trailers snarfing bonbons and watching Judge Judy. Food snobs are typically known to deny that death is possible in their lifetimes and that if they just knew where that hamburger came from they could live forever. The fact is that you are a pioneer crossing in the untamed Great Plains. Ambush is around every corner. So, either go underground and secretly smuggle in your own hamburger harvested from a cow you keep in your garage or risk being attacked by the savages of “what is wrong with this country” ilk. Oh, and be careful in that Conestoga wagon – better to be called a food snob than risk being served the ground up leftovers from the “Donner” Party. Soldier on!