Well. It's been quite a week for the folks that love and hate the Ferry Building Farmers' Market. First, there was the revelation that a new book by Carlo Petrini (the founder of the Slow Food movement) was downright rude about the farmers and their customers, who work, shop, and food-stroll their Bay Area Saturdays away.
Then there was the CUESA follow-up meeting that attempted to get stuff hashed out between the offender and the offended.
This was followed by blog reaction all over the Bay Area and possibly the country. And finally, yesterday came some signs that maybe Alice Waters was Jimmy Cartering her way through the ugly muck and hurt feelings; possibly composting what was said and using it to feed new growth. Mum until just recently, Alice Waters was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday as weighing in with her opinion on the whole nasty mess.
"I don't think he was wrong about his perception that food is more expensive (at Ferry Plaza)," Waters told Scoop on Monday. "But I think he's wrong in his analysis of why it was."
The cost of raising good, fresh food and hauling it to market in the city "is something that's important for all of us to talk about," Waters says. And while she wishes Petrini hadn't written what he did, she supports him 100 percent.
The Chronicle notes that Petrini had apologized in what they term a "politician's type of apology" by saying he was sorry "for any offense caused by this passage." Which, I have to agree with the Chronicle, is sort of like that old wheeze, "I'm sorry you feel that way," which definitely removes the offender from acknowledging any blame whatsoever. As to the poor surfer-farmer that Petrini "outed" as specifically gouging customers just to support his surf habit?
Petrini insists he meant to give a "positive impression." He blamed his writing, and the translation, for distorting his efforts to illustrate the complexities of slow food in a fast world.
So...maybe what Petrini needed was a better editor? Interesting defense.