I do not want to offend anyone but I know I will. It is like passing the scene of an accident and you do not want to look, you know you should not look; you should be paying attention to driving the vehicle undistracted. As you creep along with traffic these thoughts go threw your head. You are not going look that is all there is to it. Then there is an instant, it is less then a second, something takes over and your head turns, and you look. You did not mean to, you intended not to, you had all the best of intentions of avoiding it but there it is, against your deepest thought, it happened.
Well someone is going to get offended so let me apologize up-front. Please remember these are just observations that I have made over the years of living in a suburban and rural environment. I officially have more years living out of the city than I do living in the city. Although my observations may be born of naïveté, they are just observations.
We talk about food and how certain foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts) whole foods, mainly, are good for your health. You can read how our meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables are grown makes a huge difference in the eco-system and on all our scarce resources. There are huge conglomerates spending millions, if not billions, on chemical, biological and physical ways to change, alter, elongate, preserve, extend, affect appearance, stop infestations; the list for what they want to do to whole foods is endless. Even though the research might show evidence of serious negative affects on the human body or the environment, it can be squelched and the product can be introduced into the industrial food chain.
Think back to GMO corn and how it was not suppose to be in our food supply. Then in the early 2000’s a woman has a seizure triggered from eating a taco shell made out of GMO corn. Is titanium dioxide here in the US or not (see GRAS and Nano-Tech)? If so, what products use that nano-technology? It has been found in Great Brittan; of course, it took an independent study to find that fact. At least the European consumers are being made aware of this additive. The IFC knows the extent of the degradation of the earth and our resources and they act to minimize or out right cover up those facts and introduce the product into the food chain anyway.
Bisphenol A, (BPA’s) Titanium Dioxide and Diactyl come to mind because these are the things we know, there have been news reports, independent scientific analysis and medical research pointing to the ills of the these two food additives and the third in plastic containers. Even with the knowledge they were still introduced in the worlds food supply
We are woefully under armed and overwhelmed from the sheer size of the other side. It is us against them and our side is slowly getting bigger. Each year consumers get a little more educated about the ills of industrial farming practices and as more recalls take place the question of food safety becomes more important to the consumer.
As a small farm we get a little bigger each year, plant a little more, add a few more chickens, and get more land certified organic. The Industrial Food Complex is not doing the present and the future any favors. Think endocrine disruptors, food alergies, e-coli outbreaks, feminized bass and castrated bull frogs..
This brings me back to insulting someone. We live on a small farm, surrounded by other small farms. Our house sits in the middle of fifty-five acres. On our left is a farm, on our right is a farm and behind us is a farm. In front of our house is a flood zone. Our smallest buffer zone is about a thousand feet from all of my conventional neighbors. National Organic Procedures call for twenty-five feet of hedgerow or buffer zone.
Our neighbors grow grains, hay and forage for their animals. Therefore, there is all this food being grown around our little two acres of fruits and vegetables. I mean hundreds of acres surrounding our vegetable and fruit gardens. Yet with all this GMO food growing for animal feed and other applications the wildlife pick our gardens to raid. Ground hogs will leave the protection of the edge of the tree line to raid the garden, raccoons, turkeys, our own chickens, rabbits and deer. We fight them all to get the food to market.
With signs advertising certified organic we sit at the farmers market with our offerings and people will pass us by to go to the huckster to buy vegetables. The Maryland Department of Agriculture defines hucksters as those people that buy and resell fruits and vegetables. The vegetables just look better I admit that, but we know they did not grow it, they cannot tell the customer what farm it came from or what chemicals are on it. At our house the wildlife has hundreds of acres of food to choose from yet they choose to find ours and what that tells me is even wild animals know what tastes better.
Buy Local- From a farmer you know and invites you to visit the farm to learn more.
p.s. Yes, it has been a very hot summer, we are suffering a drought and a stink bug infestation that is wearing on me, if you are reading this you are already informed and knowledgeable about fresh local foods, so please don’t take offense and thank you for letting me vent. If you are not reading this then......