Monday, July 30, 2007
The Real Dirt on Farmer John
if you love good food, you have to care about good farms ~ these are the ones where real people care about the folks who eat the food they raise, and about the impact they have on the earth and on generations of creatures after them. with industrialization, corporatization, globalization (and i'm sure we can fill that in further), the family farm has been in trouble for a long time. i opened up the Sacramento newspaper today and read an article about the local Bartlett pear crop. pear farmers say it's difficult to compete with overseas producers who pay their workers $2 to our $10-$12, and it's also hard to find laborers to do the work. "If you think you're unhappy depending on foreign oil, wait until you're dependent on foreign food," said organic pear farmer, Tim Newharth.
transgenic animals ~ not just for meat but for milk ~ are being touted as safe and soon could come to a Safeway near you ~ unlabeled. most of the soy and corn in the US is already genetically modified (and mysteriously folks are experiencing more and more allergies. . ). "USDA certified organic" continues to get watered down. we've heard plenty about e. coli in vegetables. and this doesn't even begin to get into the discussion that our food is just not nourishing us anymore; it's causing disease and degeneration. it is becoming grossly obvious that an industrialized food system doesn't work.
how do we, people who love delicious, nourishing food, combat this horror? here's the first step: insist on knowing where your food comes from. vote with your dollars and invest in your local food economy ~ shop at farmers' markets, join a CSA if possible, ask questions. raise food for yourself ~ even if it's just a tomato in a barrel or an herb on your window sill ~ and savor the deep satisfaction of providing for your own need.
our household went to the Gala Premiere Opening Night of The Real Dirt on Farmer John, at Sacramento's Crest Theater. It was sponsored by Organic Sacramento and Rudolph Steiner College (where i did some volunteering on their biodynamic farm), and had lots of tables set up with information and fresh produce from local farms, wine and cheese tasting. The film was great ~ essentially an autobiography of a man after my own heart: a sentimental, quirky artist and his love-affair with the earth. inextricably intertwined is the plight of America's family farms, and the struggle and pain of actual farmers and their families. and community. the happy ending is a call to action, and so i answer ~ by echoing the call.
here's the trailer:
go see it! :-D