Creating identity by the products we buy

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“Growing up for me, food was just food,” says investigative journalist Benjamin Lorr . He says that food has become a vehicle for performative consumption. In the same way that people may buy a Rolex to demonstrate their taste, consumers exhibit identity, health, and ecological consciousness by the brands they choose to eat. During his research, he embedded with a trucker who made $100 in the week he rode with her. He calls trucking as dangerous as the timber and deep sea fishing industries. His book is “ The Secret Life of Groceries .”

Part of the success of Trader Joe’s is targeting individual consumers, including the overeducated and underpaid, according to Benjamin Lorr. Photo courtesy of Avery



Evan Kleiman