I've received several comments and emails about my last post. Thank you! One comment was about how do we get farmers and ranchers back on the land when real estate is so high in price that no one who wants to farm or ranch can afford to buy in?
Well, that comes down to our whole society making a radical shift!
I saw a funny comment in the paper. A Frenchmen said "It's (the US) the country where people are the best informed about food and enjoy it the least."
Maybe if we enjoyed our food more, we would value it more and be prepared to pay more so that people who produce it could make a living on the land.
I listened to NPR this morning and there was this segment on a family farmer in Illinois that was selling his herd of cattle because it was just no longer financially feasible to keep them. He was trying not to cry.
I do hold out some hope. I think the whole food system is changing -- just like Michael Pollan suggested. I do think that there is a growing group of people who do enjoy food and are learning how to cook again - and they tend to buy local.
But here's the problem -- at least as far is beef is concerned -- the price of cattle on the hoof is falling faster than oil! Summer of 2007, you could sell a steer and manage $1.42/lb. Now its down to .84/lb. and my neighbor just came by to tell me she had heard it had dropped to .60/lb. Of course everyone is selling because of the drought. People are getting rid of whole herds.
We're hanging on, but all I seem to get is wind and no rain.
So if anyone has some suggestions . . . .