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Supermarkets are one way, though their absence in communities, one expert told me, is an example of a "market failure." Eastern Market offers another — and one, I noticed, that kept prices competitive by nixing the middleman.
Between Patti and the Nugents, I've lost any patience for the idea that caring about food is elitist; that's just culture war posturing. Now, when people spout off about foodie pretensions or the poor's misplaced priorities, I tell them about Patti, or I urge them to read the first few pages of "Kill It and Grill It."
"It is good to know exactly where one's food comes from," writes Ted. "We sure as hell wouldn't waste good hunger or any one of our much anticipated family mealtimes on fast food or junk food."
So is Nugent a foodie? Given the term's liberal, urban connotations, I doubt it. But the ideas he shares with the people who are offer a compelling reminder that good food is something on which most Americans already agree.
Tracie McMillan is the author of "The American Way of Eating" and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. She wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.