Field Notes Volume 3 | Number 3 June 15th, 2015
The Carrot and the Stick
Today I spoke at Church. Most Sundays IÂ’m too busy at market, but today Tom and Patsy took over market duties at Bridgeport and I got to go to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Morgantown to speak about local agriculture and Harmony Farm. It was an easy or me to do, since I think about it pretty much all of the time, and I can get awfully preachy if you give me the chance. 🙂
I just wanted to share a few of the thoughts that I shared there with you.
Our agricultural system is broken. The facts and statistics are overwhelming and I wonÂ’t burden you too much with them here but here are just a few- Over 60% of fossil fuels are used in the production and transportation of food. Over 1/3 of all food is wasted. More than 50% of all trash is from the food system. Americans spend less than anyone ever on food, yet our diets are literally killing us. The vast monocultures are depleting our environment, killing our wildlife, and creating vast areas that are unlivable and potentially dangerous (through the application of pesticides). Six companies control the majority of our agricultural industry, from seed to pesticide and now more and more to processed foods. The worldÂ’s resources of potassium and phosphorus (necessary to plant growth) are extremely limited and controlled by a small amount of corporations. 75%of antibiotics are used in theproduction of meat, and this is causing disease resistant strains of bacteria. In America 10 billion animals are slaughtered every year, over 99% in factory confinement. GMOÂ’s are more and more common and there is little oversight of their testing, production, and distribution. Our government is not willing, nor able, to deal with these problems because the agricultural lobbyists are too powerful and government agencies are hamstrung by these corporate interests. Thats the bad news, although there is much more, and it is overwhelming.
All this being said, I believe there is hope. That is why I do what I do. I think change is simple. Change is a choice. Its saying yes to the alternative. ItÂ’s being willing to pay a bit more. ItÂ’s accepting vegetables that look and taste a bit different. ItÂ’s thinking about the quality of what we eat. ItÂ’s thinking about how the animals live and die that we eat. Its engaging in what we eat- thinking about it, talking about it, enjoying it. ItÂ’s considering who grows our food, why, how, and caring about them not just as producers but as human beings that deserve just wages and a life of human dignity.
These are big goals, but all it takes is a big yes (and maybe aÂ small no)! For me I think that it can be hard to make the right choices and easy to feel guilty for making the wrong ones, but I donÂ’t think that that is productive. What is, is enjoying our food, savoring it, and celebrating around it. Real food, good food, local food tastes better and has more nutrition.
When you make this choice- when you join a CSA or shop at the farmerÂ’s market- you are taking that step. When we make these choices, when we say yes again and again is how we can begin to change the food system. The choice is simple I say eat the Carrot, lose the stick. 🙂
Spinach – Enjoy!
Greens – Either Lacinato, Curly Kale, or Swiss Chard
Peas – Last week, enjoy!
Beets – A great multicolored variety. The tops are huge, and would be great sauteed.
Zucchini- A bit more this week. Enjoy!
Cucumbers- Just a bit. Enjoy!
For Market-Style CSA Customers:
Market customers will receive Spinach, Greens and Beets, and Cucumbers with your choice of additional items.