Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama and Agriculture

(Take it back, people)
In today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof is calling for "bold reform" in the way we administrate our country's agriculture. From the piece, here's a quote from the master himself, Michael Pollan:

We’re subsidizing the least healthy calories in the supermarket — high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soy oil, and we’re doing very little for farmers trying to grow real food,” notes Michael Pollan, author of such books as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.”

Major reform is unlikely to happen; Monsanto and their ilk will fight it tooth and nail, because there's no profit (for them anyway) in real food. There would also be considerably less profit for the medical and pharmaceutical industries if our population suddenly becomes healthy, since the vast majority of our modern illnesses are food-related. You can bet the multinationals who run our lives don't want any changes made to the current system. So, bold reform will likely not be coming from our government. Even if the government is led by Barack Obama.

But there's another way. Want "bold reform"? I got your bold reform right here. Opt out. Individual American households need to opt out of Big Ag. Plant a garden, grow what you can, preserve what you can. Keep a few chickens. Join or start a community garden. Ask your neighborhood mom and pop store to buy local, seasonal produce and regional foods. Stop going to the big box grocery store. Join a co-op. Buy a cow share. Go to your local farmer's market, and get to know your local farmers. Learn to eat seasonally, and learn to cook from real, whole ingredients, not pre-mixed boxes of corporate crap with who-knows-what mixed into them. Stop reading diet books; listen to your body and the traditions of your region, climate, and culture. Only eat food that your great-grandmother would recognize as food. Reprogram your brain to know this simple truth- cooking is not drudgery; cooking is health and love and life.

Reform will happen one tomato plant, one back yard, one community garden, and one local farmer at a time.


Kateri said...

I will have to see if I can find the other books by Michael Pollen. I really enjoyed the one I read this fall. Didn't realize he wrote more. And I enjoyed this post. Change is going to have to come from the the people, one organic tomato, one fresh egg at a time. It isn't going to come from big government!

Irma said...

Count my back yard IN. And my front yard, if I can ever convince Husbandly One...

Rabbits' Guy said...

Maybe when the masses decide to quit working so hard to consume so much that is not necessary, then there will be a time and will. Now the crap-route is too easy, fast, and tastes good.

That being said, in most regions where there still is viable agriculture and a variety of local grown food, there is becoming a pretty healthy community of voices practicing what you preach so well!

PS - all the bunns at the House of Rabbits vote for the idea!

d. moll, said...

We are with you sister, got the garden, the cow share, farmer's market.... love the graphic, where is it from?

PJ said...

Bill Moyers had Pollan on his show not too long ago. He sounds like a man with a plan. I wish he was on "Team Obama".
Aruba is a desert island and not all that tropical and not the prettiest but DH was there for work and we had fun.