Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Left Behind.

There is a responsibility we carry, as a species, to be conscious of the consequences of our choices.  While there are more than everyone's fair share of topics out there to be covered, I can pontificate on one close to my heart (and stomach).  Food.  Specifically, food that comes from a farm, and the farmers.There are small, medium, large and super-sized farms in our wide world, and from many of them come delicious nutritious food.  Some of them, not so much.

What  often isn't contemplated, is the farmer who got bigger and better and faster and more industrial in order to pay his mortgage and feed his family, who is proverbially and literally being left behind in this conundrum of politics vs. food vs. a higher consciousness of the people (which is a threat to the great food monopolies that be, and their astronomical yearly incomes!) (We won't mention ~ahem~ the political support they provide).

I'm guilty as charged.  I've often thought only of not feeding my family the anti-biotic laden, hormone-laced, arsenic fed and brutally handled animals that are now meats available in the local grocery stores.  I've not thought about the farmer who mortgaged his home, land and hence, his children's inheritance in order to build the housing for the aforementioned animals to be raised in.  I'm not thinking about the work he or she does daily in order to make the mortgage payment on that burden, so that we American's can eat large-breasted chickens.  

It became real to me when I heard a farmer say (after 10 + years of hard farming) that he still had over $90,000 to pay on his poultry houses and by that time, I figured in my head silently;  he'd probably have to spend $600,000 more to "upgrade" his houses, or be denied a contract.  

So, isn't it great that there is a food movement and a lot of us are cutting out High Fructose Corn Syrup and BHT and MSG and not using Baking Powder with Aluminum in it?  

What about the millions of people who are employed by the "monsters that be" and pay their bills from their week-to-week paycheck - do they have a voice?  Do they lead food-conscious lives?  Or are they left behind also, with their $56.88 balance showing on the ATM receipt, after a balance inquiry (which cost them $1.00, incidentally) to stand in the grocery store, choosing between a frozen pizza for $3.99 or a bag of apples for $4.29 knowing which is better, but what will fill the bellies of their children for now, until the next paycheck is cashed.  

It's a conundrum for sure, this 'movement', with a lot of variables and dynamics to be considered.

This is sometimes hard for me to process, and because of that, I revert back to a comforting saying, "If I don't help myself, I can't help others", and so it goes - with my sometimes overzealous and lofty goals of changing the world one bite at a time.  

In a sense, we've all been left behind some way, some how.  It makes a lot of sense to me that in our participation of this "food movement" that we consider the farmers of the "Factory Farms" and remember that they too have bills to pay, families to care for, and in a lot of ways, deserve as much respect as the organic, humane and certified farmer down the road.  

1 comment:

michael said...

wow, what an amazing, eye-opening point. You are so incredibly smart and talented sister. I love you.

What is this leisure time of which you speak?

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