Sunday, March 08, 2009

Back to the Farm... or to the Show?

Last week French news was marked by the success of France's Agricultural Fair. To put it a nutshell, it is as if the biggest American state fair were hosted in Manhattan. This year it reached an all-time record with 670, 000 visitors over 9 day.

This week's The Economist suggests that this success may be partly due to the recession and the desire to go back to something reassuringly tangible (le terroir) as the "French remain intimately tied to the produce of their local terroirs through reguional cuisine and open-air markets."

With its roots in the soil, farming is everything that complex financial capitalism is not. You know what you put in—and what you get out usually ends up on the dinner table.

That may true, but as they also did not fail to notice : "there are 80,000 unfilled farming jobs, even though unemployment in France is 8.3% and rising". Will French now flock to these jobs and back to the countryside? Maybe, but the Paris Farm Show seems so much better when you can dream of an ideal past without doing the hard work.


At 22:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are right : dreaming is easier than working hard espacially when one regurlarly ear about French cattle farmers that struggle to make a living. Other than that, people start to take interest in the environment and for that reason or because they want to stay healthy they tend to eat more european or organic vegetables instead of transgenic ones from abroad. Maybe that and our culture explain why we love so much regional cuisine.


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