Authenticity Hoax

Here’s a review (by Paul Beston, writing for the Wall Street Journal) of Andrew Potter’s new book, The Authenticity Hoax Why It’s So Hard To Get Real

Remember when eating organic food made you unusual? That was barely a decade ago, when people in the vanguard celebrated the superior taste of organic food, not mention its health benefits and environmental friendliness. But no sooner had the rest of us caught up than organic advocates began arguing that what really mattered was locally grown food. They pushed for the 100-mile diet, according to which one eats only food grown within that distance from one’s home. Local-food evangelists now scorn the distantly grown organic products in places like Whole Foods and—above all—Wal-Mart. Of course, the problem with locally grown food is that it can be difficult to find and afford.

For Andrew Potter, the ever-narrowing search for just the right kind of food has less to do with saving the environment or pursuing a healthy lifestyle than with achieving a certain self-image, one in which the tawdry, consumerist aspects of modern life are thrown over for the sake of a simpler, truer, more “authentic” self. Food is only one part of that broader self-definition. In “The Authenticity Hoax,” Mr. Potter notes that the search for authenticity often ends up as a status-seeking game….

And here’s my own interview with Andrew Potter, over on The Business Ethics Blog.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: The Authenticity Hoax
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

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