I know I haven’t done a Friday Follies since I did my e-obsessing for Downton Abbey and I figured it was about time for another mention of another one of my crazy passions! Before I go much further, I want to make a bit of a disclaimer that this is a subject I’m still in the midst of learning quite a bit about, and while I don’t have all the answers, I’m open to discussion as long as it remains respectful! That being said…
I can’t get enough of sustainable food, organic eating, homesteading dreams, and educating myself about some of the many flaws and dangers of the mass agricultural system. I’ve watched near every Netflix documentary I can get on the subject, and I’ve googled my way around dozens of blogs. I’ve read Michael Pollan’s book and even seen what the infamously cute Jonathan Safron Foer had to say about the subject. Beardman and I get in to fights about it all the time (while he acknowledges many of the same flaws in the system that I do, he’s much more ‘realistic’, he says, about the kind and timing of a change in the system we both think is bound to occur). While I don’t have the answers to all of the points I’ve seen made on both sides, I’ve come to believe the following so far: the Earth is broken, and largely because of human activity. The system we have now is full of cruelty and disrespect towards Nature and her wonderful routines and methods of survival. It’s causing not only sickness in our Earth, but in us and in our future generations. We owe it to ourselves to educate ourselves about where our food comes from, and to demand from those that provide the products we purchase that they do so from farms and organizations that don’t use mass feed lots, antibiotics in their feed, or corn to raise their animals on. I also believe that the way things are doing now IS NOT the way that they are supposed to be done, and that there ARE other ways of doing things that could potentially “feed the planet” in the way that we seem to think our current system does.
I believe that there are hidden costs to our so-called “cheap” foods, and that if it were economically possible, more people would shop local and organic than currently do. Because of this, I believe that it should be of political importance to provide the kind of economic and policy support to those farmers that farm organically, in a small-scale frame, and outside the current mode of mass agricultural production. I believe that this is a cause that will eventually have to come to a head, and as gas prices and health tolls become more and more evident and important, I only hope that the change comes without environmental or food-based disaster. I don’t want any of this to sound preachy, but after reading what I’ve read and watching what I’ve watched, I felt like I wanted a place to gather my “sustainable eating” manifesto! I invite you to check out any of the following sources, which I found the most helpful in helping me decided exactly what it was I did think on the issue of what I was eating and where it was coming from.
Because of a lot of things mentioned in these sources, Beardman and I have cut back on the amount of meat that we eat, have begun buying what meat, dairy, and produce we can from the farmers market or local organic grocery (we can’t afford to buy everything there, which is an eventual goal of mine, but we keep an eye on what’s on sale and go when we can), and have begun growing our own herbs, strawberries, and peppers, in order to try and keep cutting back on how much we contribute to a mass agriculture system I don’t really believe in. I’ll admit right here that this is pretty much all me – Beardman agrees with certain points but not others, and remains “pragmatically neutral” on the topic, but he sure does love me and goes with what he thinks is my craziness on this particular issue – but I don’t really mind that in this situation!