I have an apology to make. Last August, I was just so angry at the cost of produce and other food products at the local farmer's markets that I wrote a diary insisting that the prices were artificially inflated because it's the "cool thing" to do these days. I am humbled and stoop on bended knee to ask forgiveness, for the scales had not yet fallen from my eyes. To those who commented on that diary, you made sense and led me down a path that I may not have ever wandered onto, except for your articulate attempts to open my eyes to the truth of the matter.
The catalyst, however, took some time. I had been keeping track, over the winter, of the scheduling on Current TV. Current ran a series called "50 Documentaries to see before you die", hosted by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who ate nothing but McDonald's for a month and lived to tell about it. Anyway, I get to the point below the fold, so follow me down the rabbit hole.....
This series covered many documentaries, some which I have seen (Spurlock's being one of them - it's excellent and I highly recommend it); and some which I have not. One of the docs covered was "Food, Inc.", a doc made in 2010 which followed the food chain, with the premise being, where does our food come from? I was interested, and when I saw it was featured as the "POV" on the local PBS Station, I recorded it. The announcer said, at the beginning, "You will never look at your food the same way again."
How could I have known, that it was so true! I can't explain the epiphany I had, after watching that movie. I will tell you that I will never again wonder why the cost of the local food is so much. I paid $42 for my turkey on Thanksgiving. It was a small one, but oh so tasty! I now buy organic whenever possible. I've expanded my garden and plan on really picking it up next year. I'm involved in working on an ordinance that will once again allow chickens in our town. And I will never buy a $7 turkey at the grocery store again. I know, it's pricey. But I told an acquaintance that he was still paying $42 for his turkey, or more! It is either to the farmer directly, or to the big corporations as a subsidy by their lobbyists getting tax breaks for the giant corporation to raise millions of turkeys in inhumane conditions and treat their (sometimes illegal) employees very badly.
What is the cost, finally, to us? I saw the undercover video in the pork slaughterhouse, and knowing how intelligent pigs are, it was disheartening to watch as they ran and squealed right before their death. They knew they were about to die, and the fear they felt was obvious. Then I realized, we are eating that pain and fear! I had already read articles about the huge lagoons of animal waste, and how toxic they were. I knew about the genetically modified food grains. I knew about the high fructose corn syrup. But I never thought about what that did to my health, my body, and the health of the planet. I pretended to care about our mother, Earth, but really didn't understand it. Until now.
I have finally come to the realization that it is better to pay the price to water my own vegetables, mostly raised organic, and to buy from the local producers of food. It is likely to cost me less out of pocket now, at the market. The price I may end up paying with my health and well-being will probably be a higher price, in the long run. I'm still not on a perfect path, it's not always possible to find non-GMO, or organic, or even locally raised food, especially in the winter. I'm sure that as more of us vote with our dollars, however, it will get easier and easier. The dollar is a very persuasive vote.
We now have chickens approved by our city council, so my neighbor and I have collaborated on owning/raising six hens for eggs. Smart girls, they love their greens! I've just given them some lettuce and tomatoes right before this picture was taken. Although they're still young girls, we'll have eggs soon.
I'm off to the farmer's market, to see what is good to eat this week! How about you?
UPDATE: On the rec list?! Thanks to all of you - including the rescue rangers, and thank you for putting me on Community Spotlight! I just came back from the Farmers Market, with some salad greens (mine are done for the season), some ground pork locally grown and butchered, two vine-ripened tomatoes, $2.20 a pound, and had a nice time visiting with my friends who also came to find good food. It's worth it. It's becoming more of a movement and more mainstream than ever, as we realize, we are what we eat. Thank you for reading!
12:46 PM PT: Update: Rec list!? Thanks! I appreciate that, and being on the community spotlight. Thinking about our food and how it affects our world is just how it has to be, and I'm glad to be able to publish this apology.