Yep, that’s me. I’m an omnivore who loves, loves, loves fresh produce. Having fresh, organic fruits and vegetables in the house simply makes me feel so relaxed and good. (And today is the day that a whole load of it is dropped off in my garage for our food co-op…lucky me. 🙂
Now, an admission: I wrote that, first, I think, to soften the effect of the rant to come. I want it to be very clear that, typically, I am a very positive person. I try not to dwell on negativity. I try not to dwell on that which I don’t like and/or don’t want. I try to flip things around and dwell on the positive that I would like to usher into being.
But, I find that this positivity, this ability to see past the negative before me — to the horizon of positive that could be achieved — sometimes takes time to congeal. Sometimes I have to get good and pissed-off before I can get a clear focus on that positive horizon that I wish to move towards.
This is where I am today. Pissed.
I was pissed when I read Real Food, and blogged about it.
Now I’m reading Omnivore’s Dilemma, and I’m getting even more frustrated.
I’m frustrated by the state of the ‘food industry’ and by the influence of corporations and lobbies on the food reality within which we live.
But what I’m pissed about is my own powerlessness.
There’s a saying that ‘all politics are local.’ My version of this is ‘all change is (first) local.’
We have been making changes to the way our family eats for years now. Chris and I have spent the last 6 years eliminating high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils from our family’s diet. And, if you are a label-reader, you know what a challenge this has been.
We’ve made these changes, and committed to the time and effort it requires, because of a belief that it is healthier for our bodies.
We’ve made a commitment to buy Real foods, organic foods, and, when possible, local foods because in addition to being healthier for our bodies, we believe it is healthier for our planet, and for the farmers upon whom we depend.
And yet, and yet, and yet…how I wish I could fully express my anger and frustration at this moment…
I am heartbroken about the state of things.
We, as a society, have decided — with our dollars — to not pay farmers a living wage that would allow them to live on a farm and responsibly care for their family and their land. (Thus encouraging them to either plant a commodity crop to survive and/or sell their farmland, previously responsibly managed, to an agri-business entity.)
We, as a society, have decided that ‘cheap’ is all that we require of our food. (Yes, I am fully aware that for the poor, inexpensive food is essential. But we are allowing, collectively, this most vulnerable population to subsist on pseudo-food to everyone’s detriment.)
We, as a society, are selling our children down a road of planetary and personal dis-ease and disease.
We, as a society (by and large), just don’t give a damn — and because of that we let corporations and lobbies get away with lies, half-truths, and seriously misleading marketing.
We, as a society, do not require quality. We require cheap and plentiful. We require right now. We require tax cuts and pothole free roads and 24 hour drive-throughs, sorry, make that drive-thrus (because we never require accurate spelling or grammar either…)
We, as a society, are sheep.
The bleating goes on and on.
As long as the trough is full of whatever cheap food has been dumped on the market, we happily gorge ourselves.
It must stop.
Government regulation is certainly not the answer. These are the same entities that support a commodity corn industry that is completely illogical. These are the same entities that seek to place a barrier between farmers and consumers by means of regulations against raw milk and other healthy, unprocessed food products.
The government in this up-ended food reality is an agent of the corporations. And corporations cannot earn money by allowing us to have completely unmolested, natural food products. They need regulations that require us to buy the food that they have fixed — aka: de-natured.
So, where am I going with this rant?
That’s still to be determined. For now, I am fully embracing how mad I am.
The other day I told a friend that I was pissed about all of this and would eventually be clear on how I wanted to proceed. She said a wonderful, empowering thing to me: “Good, because when YOU decide to make a change, Change Happens.”
For now, suffice to say that I encourage everyone to make their own food choices, regardless of how radical they may seem. Follow your instincts. Feed yourself and your family foods that are as close to the farm as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do. If I cut out the processors, they stop having influence within my family. They won’t feel the pain of the lack of my dollars…but my family will be healthier for it.
It’s not a global change — heck, it’s not even regional.
But all of us must make choices within the center of our circle of influence (i.e. self and family) and let those choices radiate out. It is not sufficient for me to stay at this level of activism…but it is a start.
When I decide which way to proceed — how to channel my energy into something positive — you’ll hear about it. 😉