Mark Winne argues in Tuesday’s Hartford Courant that his city’s depressed downtown district shouldn’t accept the solutions offered by quick-service restaurants (and, God forbid, certainly not Dunkin Donuts!). “Hartford’s economic development policy,” he says, “must walk hand in hand with its health policy.”
Winne’s sanctimonious complaints (“the fast food industry spend billions each year telling us to eat their stuff”) might ring truer if he hadn’t already staked out a political position on food that’s as anti-corporate as they come. You see, in addition to running the Hartford Food System, a local nonprofit that tries to force-feed organic-only food production to the city’s hungry, Winne also founded and leads the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC), a national group that’s on the cutting edge of socialist food politics.
In a recent speech delivered to the CFSC’s annual conference, Winne declared his “opposition to the dominant food system — a system whose consequences we can’t accept and whose values we don’t share.” And, echoing Marx and Engels, he warned the assembled masses that “The grinding of a man’s spirit under the corporatism of modern life and the exigencies of the free market will rob us of our freedom like no oppressor of the past… The greatest test of our resistance will be how we oppose the insidious force of a global food system that creeps in on cat’s paws, [and] a global food system that cynically suggests that without bioengineering we will not be able to save a hungry world from starvation.”
It appears that the Center for Science in the Public Interest appreciates this sort of rhetoric: Winne is a recipient of the group’s “Trailblazer for Safe Food” award. We’re not all that surprised.