Media, thoughtful and not.

You know you’ve arrived when you get dissed in the New Yorker in a Critic-At-Large discussion. You’ll be hearing more about this, and about Marco Flavio’s excellent Cook Here and Now group in the next couple of weeks.

Much more stimulating, and surprising, was a splendid conversation I had with Megan McArdle who writes a fine blog over at The Atlantic Monthly.

The good people at BloggingHeads.tv matched us up because they thought it’d be fun to pit a lefty-global-justice type against a libertarian vegan. Sparks certainly flew, but in a very good natured way.

Better, there were some important points of similarity in our positions. As someone who still thinks that one of the founding texts of libertarianism, Anarchy, State and Utopia is a *very* good read, this shouldn’t have come as a big surprise, but that’s because the political philosophy of libertarianism has been tarred by people whom Megan refers to, correctly in my view, as wingnuts.

One of the most important points of connection was this: that people around the world ought to be allowed to make up their own mind about how their food comes to them. This is, in part, one of the unifying principles behind food sovereignty, and it’s a demand that has been stated very clearly indeed for decades. We disagreed on the need for taxation as a way of shaping food habits, and we didn’t get into talking about restitution for colonialism and a range of other, related, topics. But it was a good chat.