Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Save the World: Plant a Tomato

Today I’m plugging Michael Pollen. Dad saw his interview with Bill Moyer and told me about it so I downloaded the transcript and read the interview after supper tonight. This man makes way too much sense to ever hold public office, such as Secretary of Agriculture. His whole premise is not invest billions of dollars in ag, but a grassroots movement on the part of people who eat to grow their own food, support farmer’s markets, and rediscover, as a nation, how to grow our own food. Like Dad and I discussed, in his lifetime, since the 1940s, we have lost the ability as a nation to feed ourselves. It’s gone from small farms and eating locally to the average piece of food traveling 2,500 miles from its place of origin to our tables. Not only is this expensive for the consumer, it’s unhealthy. All the food additives, which make the agribusiness corporations multibillions of dollars, are the leading causes of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, according to Michael Pollen.

How empowering would it be to organize, as a nation, without largely relying on top-down enforcement, to make the switch from eating globally, to eating food grown within 200-300 miles from our homes? And I’m not just talking produce, but meat, eggs, butter, milk, bread, all of it. We’d be reclaiming our health, our environment, our food freedoms. Agriculture right now, as an industrialized model, accounts for a huge amount of pollution and global warming. As a farmer, it weighs heavily on my conscience that my actions, meant to care for the earth and nourish food from it, actually cause harm. But we don’t farm because we love it; we farm for the same reason most do, it makes money. At least it’s supposed to. And that’s the problem with centralized agriculture, the small, diverse farmer cannot compete with corporate farms. Not only that, but, again according to Pollen, centralized agriculture provides a huge opportunity for persons to stage acts of terrorism by poisoning our food supply.

Since Pollen says it all a lot better than I do (and so you all can get on with your day and stop listening to me rant) the transcript is here and the video can be found here. Let me know if it doesn't work right. Thanks for hanging out this long. And plant a damn tomato, people, jeeze.