On the surface this seems like a pretty simple question. Most of us would say without hesitating, “I do!” Perhaps you earn the money that buys the food, maybe you do the grocery shopping, or the cooking, or physically place the food on the kitchen table. All of this clearly qualifies as feeding your family, but when we really examine the source of the food that we eat the answer becomes so much more complicated.
Most of my posts have been written to entertain, to inform, hopefully to help. Today I am going to climb up on my soapbox. Today I am writing to motivate you.
I have been reading an increasing amount of disturbing news related to food lately. Everything from small family farms being invaded and shut down to ammonia laced meat scraps, that even McDonald’s rejected, being served in school lunches, TO OUR KIDS! What is going on here?
The organic and local food movement has been gaining momentum over the years, and I am obviously on board. More and more people (who can make the choice) are choosing not to support big business- in this case the food companies that control what is grown, or monopolize the food industry and fill the grocery store shelves with lab-created food products that are causing and/or exacerbating national health problems.
I believe that people’s choices are having an impact, to the point that the government is being called on to intervene. One of the ways they are “protecting” us is by shutting down family farms who are making their living by the sweat of their brows and the strength of their arms. These people are providing REAL FOOD to family, friends, and neighbors who have made the choice to purchase from them, and now they are being persecuted. Or how about the farmers who are being taken to court for saving their seeds from year to year? Are they really that big of a threat or is this purely an effort to make a statement?
Someday I believe that the accessibility and affordability of quality food is going to become a crisis. I think it’s time to make our own statement before this happens. If we don’t learn to support ourselves, or stand up for those who are making good, ethical, and healthy choices, we will be at the mercy of those who believe that it’s o.k. to take away a child’s home-made lunch and replace it with mystery nuggets; who believe that it’s within their rights to hold in evidence a family’s livelihood while they turn around and approve high-fructose corn syrup, green ketchup, and hormone and antibiotic-laced animal products.
The reason that my husband and I started our organic farm is that we wanted to be able to say, with confidence, that we are the ones feeding our family. We still opt for convenience far more often that we would like to, but we’ve come a long way from where we were. How about you?
I’m not saying that everyone should start a farm, but I challenge you to take steps today to change one thing in your diet or household. Replace one non-organic item with an organic (fairly-traded) replacement. Talk to a friend or neighbor who hunts, fishes, or farms and see if you can buy from them. If you’re not quite ready for this, read The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Food Matters, watch the movie Food Inc. Don’t let others (including me) tell you what’s best, make your own educated choices, and make your own statement.
O.k., I’m done. I’ll jump down now and listen to what you have to say. Share your thoughts or what you’re doing to make a change. You can even feel free to contradict me, I promise I’ll respond rationally.