Oh look, it's that nutty Berkeley chef Alice Waters, telling 60 Minutes we should all eat non-poisoned food. Doesn't she know organic produce is a "luxury," in Lesley Stahl's words? It's a recession!

We'll grant Waters could use more press savvy; scoffing at microwave ovens and using her kitchen fireplace to demonstrate home cooking, as the restaurateur-turned-food-crusader did on 60 Minutes, makes Waters look like the Northern California dilettante she is often made out to be. As does knocking people who spend money on Nike sneakers rather than organic produce.

Instead of Nikes, Waters should have talked about how Americans spend less on food, as a percentage of income, than they ever have before. Americans, on the whole, could afford to eat better if they chose to make healthier food a priority.


But for all the elitist vibes Waters gave off — prompting even foodies to chortle— the news cycle was on her side.

No sooner had Stahl finished asking "Is she kidding??" than the New York Times reported that six percent of retail pork in a recent test carried a deadly staph infection, MRSA, that kills 18,000 Americans each year.


How did that happen? Unlike other pathogens, MRSA thrives in the face of antibiotics. And America "continue[s] to allow agribusiness companies to add antibiotics to animal feed" indiscriminately, columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote, "unlike Europe and even South Korea."

Now there's an exciting new pig strain of MRSA, which seems to be jumping to humans. This is one of the many reasons Waters is pushing people to buy antibiotic-free meats and other farmers-market-type goods regardless of the economic climate. She's apparently just too polite to say so.