Re “You Aren’t What You Eat” (1/21): As regular Fresh Fields shoppers (soon to become ex-), we thought the article was mostly right on target. The author correctly points out that Fresh Fields, like Amazon.com and Wal-Mart, have absorbed mom-and-pop operations in its field. Having said as much, though, the writer then fails to further examine this very important point, leaving the reader to wonder why it was even mentioned in the first place (the writer’s axiom being “Never ask a question unless you are prepared to answer it”).
The writer missed two very important points: One, that the corporatization and commercialization of what was formerly an outgrowth of ’60s counterculture—health-food stores, organics, cruelty-free products—have now been thoroughly commercialized by the likes of Fresh Fields.Two, Fresh Fields carries meat—free-ranging though it may be (though I appreciate the fact that it did not come from the factory farm). To us, one is either a vegetarian or not—rather like being sort of pregnant. (I doubt being raised as a free-ranging animal means a lot to the animals as they are being slaughtered.) We were shocked to learn that Fresh Fields carries ostrich and emu as well as veal (the practices in raising which are so heinous that much of the meat industry shies away from them). In recent years, animal-rights activists have managed to shut down at least 70 percent of the veal industry and market. Yet Fresh Fields is selling it. Rather like being sort of pregnant: Either you’re a health-food store, or you’re not.