Last month I read the book Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, and I seriously think every American needs to read this book. Though I may be preaching to the choir here, I'd love to get the word out beyond the homesteaders, foodies, and environmentalists who naturally would target this book as a good read. Can you help me do that?
In it, Salatin keeps coming back to one underlying factor holding up our industrial food system: cheap, foreign oil. And how the minute that thin membrane splits, productions costs will go out the roof. And here we were, thinking local food was expensive...
Let me also say he does not espouse sending more of our military overseas to ensure that this foreign oil stays cheap, nor does he encourage the continued raping of the American landscape to produce oodles of our own energy. Why? In either case, these are finite, unsustainable solutions that will collapse someday. Instead, returning to a local, pasture-based, diversified food system is the only sustainable, long-term solution to feeding ourselves and potentially, the world. Unfortunately, most of what you see on the shelves of the grocery stores is the product of a monolithic industrialized food system which is heavily subsidized by the government (a.k.a., your tax dollars).
So how, and why, would we even begin to defeat this Goliath?
1. Buy local. Does it cost more? Yes (local food generally isn't government-subsidized). But is there a way you can start small? Can you support a local farmer by buying a dozen pastured eggs every week?
2. Plant a garden. It's cheap, fun, and most definitely a learning experience.
3. As I mentioned before, industrialized food is not sustainable. Our generation may not see it, but it will collapse someday if things don't change.
4. We may be one of the richest counties in the world, but are we the healthiest? Not by a long shot. Industrialized, heavily processed foods laden with high fructose corn syrup and ingredients that scientists can't even pronounce are a huge culprit.
But I digress. The point is, please read this book.
I'm linking up to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop!