Avoiding Portlandia

I won’t lie.  Despite claiming to be one of those people who is comfortable going against the current, of following my own drummer/bliss/path less taken, I am deeply fearful of sounding like an insufferable hipster when I start talking about farming.  

It’s not that I think hipsters are terrible, I guess, objectively speaking.  It’s that I know what MY response is when people start doing that thing where suddenly one’s food becomes a false idol and if you don’t worship their idol you’re a heretic and must be burned at the stake.  Basically, it makes me roll my eyes and curl my lip sneeringly and immediately do the opposite of whatever Hipster McGillicuddy is telling me to do.

Turns out, my response is pretty typical.  When faced with the “Portlandia Syndrome” in the holier-than-thou crowd, most people tend to willfully do the opposite of what they’re told to.  An Ohio State University study looked at what variables play into our purchase selections, and how do ethical concerns factor in.  The study found that people who chose not to select the “ethical” pair of jeans in a group of similar jeans were less likely to modify their choices in the future based on interactions with people who cared deeply about the ethical nature of denim.  Specifically:
“the study also found that the implied moral admonition tended to make willfully ignorant test subjects even less likely to behave ethically in the future.”

So yeah.  Whenever I talk about the things that really make me excited about hopeful about the farm- building up the soil so it’s healthier and produces healthier food, raising our own meat, from chickens that are allowed to behave as chickens are designed to, and sharing the bounty that I sense is possible here with the people in my community- whenever I talk about these things, I am always terrified that I’m beginning to sound like a character from Portlandia.  I am terrified that I’m becoming the sort of person I would not only tune out, but deliberately act opposite of.

I bring this all up because our first podcast since the Christmas break is about CSAs in general and our CSA in particular.  It’s full of things I’m passionate about- fixing our food system, returning real choices and power back to regular folks who just want to eat healthy food, etc. etc.  This means it’s also full of things I’m scared of turning Insufferable Hipster about.  So give the podcast a listen, and if I veer off into those murky waters, please forgive me.