June 16, 2018
Tales from A Not So Average Bus
They pop up throughout the countryside and even in hip, downtown city streets, such as Omaha’s old market, and sweep in with the arrival of summer. Farmers’ markets not only bring fresh fruit, vegetables, and a multitude of homemade items to locals, but they invoke a feeling of community and good old family values to those who attend. Writer and editor, Katherine Gustafson, in the first chapter of her book, Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats, remembers an exhausting, day-long adventure through the remote Virginia countryside with a man named Mark Lilly in search of farm to table goods. “School Bus Farmers’ Market” is Gustafson’s way of appealing to many different people in hopes to spread awareness about the way people see local farmers and the benefits of the healthy foods that are within just a few miles of their bustling, suburban homes, instead of buying and eating the processed foods that are imported in from other places. Through the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos, Gustafson successfully portrays how the movement towards sustainable farming is growing and how it benefits more than just the people that are doing it.
Gustafson uses the rhetorical appeal of ethos to convince readers that she is a credible and reliable source in her ability to write about the sustainable food movement in the United States. We learn right away, from the introduction of the selection, that she is an accomplished writer and editor, having written many articles for major venues such as The Huffington Post, among others. She is also a published author of the book mentioned previously in the introductory paragraph of this analysis, which the selection “School Bus Farmers’ Market” was taken from. This gives the audience some comfort in knowing when they are reading this excerpt that it is researched and composed by someone who knows the subject. With her use of understandable words such as “local, community, and fresh,” she uses ethos further because she is using language that supports the core ideas of what the sustainable food movement is all about and how it is being accomplished. The wording used throughout leads people to the possibility that eating “cleaner” and getting it from sources that do not contain preservatives and chemicals may be an obtainable goal, even if it may cost them just a bit more to buy. Also, using larger words and terms in the selection that pertain to sustainable farming, such as locavorism, carbon footprint, and bucolic, it lets the reader know that she is knowledgeable and has a certain level of expertise regarding this topic. These words also hold the reader’s attention and I think make them want to learn more about what sustainable farming really is. Helping the reader understand these terms is also successful when Gustafson...