Whatever the true intentions of this humorous scene from the IFC series Portlandia, one thing it illustrates (with a little embellishment) is how well market forces respond to the wide array of consumer preferences that exist. Many people may feel that so called 'corporate industrial agriculture' has dominated the food supply, and that only by democratizing the food supply can we get the politically correct form of agriculture (as in local, free range, organic, natural etc.) that we should want and deserve.
As discussed before, markets ( in a sense voting with your fork), provide a much better way to express food preferences than voting schemes. In a food democracy, the vast array of options the people in the video are after, and what most 'foodies' desire, would be limited to only reflect the limited knowledge and preferences of a few voters or bureaucrats. Instead of allowing the multitudes to express their food preferences as often and intensely as they desire through the market, input about food options would be limited to the untimely occasion of a blunt vote, with intense lobbying, protesting, and letter writing (to elected officials, newspapers etc.) in the interim. With food democracy we move away from a system that continuously captures everyone's input via the price system (perhaps imperfectly) to one that simply samples (even more imperfectly) it in the voting booth. Of course some advocates of food democracy could argue that they are not advocating every calorie be put to a vote, but simply democratically setting some ground rules about how food is produced, processed, marketed, regulated, labeled, etc. and letting the market take over from there.
The analysis is still the same. Instead of allowing the multitudes to express their food preferences (in relation to about how food is produced, processed, marketed, regulated, labeled, etc.) as
often and intensely as they desire through the market, input about these
options would be limited to the untimely occasion of a blunt vote, with
intense lobbying, protesting, and letter writing (to elected officials,
newspapers etc.). The principle still holds that whenever we move away from allocating resources based on prices that reflect the knowledge and preferences of multitudes of free people, to democratically allocating resources, we shrink the pool of knowledge we are willing to consider in making these choices. The information we throw out is often the most personal and meaningful (unless of course your preferences exactly match those that get the most votes!)