From the April 2004 Idaho Observer:
Dead Food, Live Body?
by Pam Klebs
If the food industry really cared about feeding the planet's six billion people, would it really force us to eat denatured, displaced food from unnatural sources?
Global decisions regarding food supply are determined by quantity and profit -- not quality and public health.
Multi-national, multi-billion dollar Agri-businesses and Bio-tech corporations have all but taken over the production, processing, delivery and marketing of our food supply.
TV commercials produced by agri/biobusiness giants such as Arthur Daniels Midland and Monsanto portray themselves as benevolently leading the world into a brave new world of chemically-induced plenty for all. But the realities are much different.
Chemical-intensive farming methods used by agri/biobusiness have destroyed our soil and polluted irrigation sources. Food grown in these conditions may look good -- crops have been genetically modified to produce beautiful fruit -- but no longer contain the nutrient values that have kept humans healthy for millennia.
Small, family farmers should be listed as an endangered species as their inability to compete with the scorched-earth farming practices of agri-business is wiping them out.
Shopping is voting
Responsible farmers, using God-given techniques, prefer to be called stewards. Stewards balance the soil and deliver us the nutrient-dense, life-sustaining, organically grown foods that we all need for optimal health. Conscientious consumers are demanding more nutrition. There are too many fad-driven diets that do not translate to better health. I have tried several of those diets (vegan, raw food, macrobiotic etc.) and have found nothing more sound than the nutritional advice of Sally Fallon and her cookbook Nourishing Traditions as well as the advice given to us by her website www.westonaprice.org.
The bottom line is we should be buying our food from people we know and trust and who nurture their land and treat it with respect.
Shopping is voting. If we do not change our shopping habits we stand to lose our farming heritage and the robust health it has traditionally provided.
Agri-business (feedlots, processed food) and Bio-tech (GMO's) could take over our entire food supply before we know it. Exercise your vote in food democracy. Food choices are the sincerest form of democracy. We can vote daily for what we eat. Other politically-driven voting systems may only exist once a year, or once every four years. I vote daily for free-range, grass fed, hormone and anti-biotic free and GMO-free by purchasing from stewards whom I know and trust.
What can the consumer do to increase the quality of our food supply? In order to retain the heritage of our family farms, do what you can to shift the awareness by implementing some of the following approaches.
Politically, we need to stop bad decision-making at the township level by promoting the growth of small, organic farms, dairies and ranches. At the state level, we must prevent pro-agri-business bills from passing by keeping a close eye on the legislature.
Ask the people from the food conglomerates if they would still support Confinement Animal Feeding Operations if they were to live downwind from turkey, chicken, pork, dairy and/or beef confinement operations. I know turkey growers who raise turkeys in their own inhumane confinement operations and refuse to eat these turkeys. Instead, they raise free-range turkeys to feed their families.
Other than buying from the true stewards of the land, consumers can do many other things to change supply and demand:
* Join Community Supported Agriculture
* Frequent farmers' markets
* Start your own organic, nutrient-dense gardens
* To find other resources, refer to:
To contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** Note: There is a movement in this country that is growing very fast. People are paying more attention to their food and are seeking alternatives to genetically-modified, chemically treated and fertilized, mechanically-processed, preserved and packaged corporate food. The Weston A. Price Foundation, an unaffiliated network of organic stewards, are quietly making wholesome food available to those who seek them out. Go to www.westonaprice.org.
It is springtime again. If you have never planted a vegetable garden, now is the time to learn how. Even if you live in an inner city, you can grow quantities of good food in small spaces. Go to www.johngivens.org and become a master at making the best of your surroundings. (DWH)
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