Protect Your Freedom to Eat Nourishing Food and Support Small Farmers (Against HR 875)

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Photo Credit: PlanetKa

Let me be clear about one thing, I hate politics. I really truly do. And I certainly don’t plan to talk about politics a lot here at The Nourishing Gourmet. However, when laws are being attempted to be passed that could directly affect what I can cook in my kitchen, it’s time to stand up and say something about it.

I will be giving some links discussing some bills that are in the Senate and house right now ( H.R. 814, S.R. 425 and H.B. 759, H.R. 875 are all bills that are really concerning, many of the articles I link to have to do with HR 875)) that have the potential to negatively effect small farmers and businesses and the freedom we have enjoyed in our country.  But I wanted to explain a little bit why I think supporting local, small time farmers is so important.

You see, to be passionate about eating nourishing foods means that you will be passionate about supporting local farmers, because local farmers who see their customers face to face are going to care a lot more about giving quality products. Customers who see the weather-beaten faces and calloused hands of their local farmers (such as many of the farmers I buy from) are going to be much more willing to give fair prices to the farmers who feed them. It’s a win win solution to the dirty practices of big time food producers who only care about producing cheap food (sold to people whose only consideration is buying cheap food).

To support local farmers means that you care when laws are trying to be passed that could take freedom away from small, local farmers or cause them to go out of business. When their freedom is taken away, so is ours. Our kitchens, our health, our futures are going to be directly affected. If they are forced to go out of business, we will all suffer.

As soon as I jumped off the band wagon of buying Winco specials, and instead considered what my family ate as an investment in our health and future, I quickly realized what a power struggle over food was taking place. It’s one of those funny facts of life: we need food to survive. While we can take food for granted in our country, it’s really the foundation of life, because without it we perish. Obvious, right? But too often we undervalue food and our freedom to eat nourishing food.

Unfortunately, while we can take food for granted, there are others who have not forgotten the power of food. They are working hard to make sure that they gain control over our food supply. Why? I think it’s obvious. When you control our food supply, you control us

I don’t take these things lightly.

But many of you know what I am talking about. Perhaps Monsanto is ringing in your ears right now. You know, the company who genetically modifies crops, makes as many power holds as it can on our political world, and drives poor farmers in India to commit suicide by pushing their expensive GMO seeds on illiterate farmers, sold by Bollywood actors. Ironically, tragically, and perhaps symbolically, many of these farmers commit suicide by drinking pesticides (and you want those on your produce?) Please watch this short film for further information.

Unfortunately, Monsanto is even more active here in the United States. They will be happy about some new regulations being attempted to be passed right now (hmmm…. do you think they could have a hand in it? Perhaps not, but HR 875 is certainly Monsanto’s Dream Bill).

I buy grass fed beef from a small local farmer. These cows lead happy, healthy lives eating what nature intended them to. Meat from healthy, grass fed beef is incredible and so much healthier for us. The animals have much happier lives, too. However, we only get that quality beef because my farmer is allowed to decide what he is going to feed his cows. He chooses to allow them to graze, we get the benefit. However, new regulations are in the motions of being passed right now which could force him to only feed his cows what the government regulates. (Source)

This is scary on so many levels. What right does the government have to regulate the  diet of farm animals? Before you know it, they will be regulating our diets too: “4 ounces of soy sausage, 2 factory produced, pasteurized eggs, and a glass of soy milk for breakfast, GMO corn tortillas with pesticide rich veggies and cancerous factory produced chicken strips for lunch” I am sure it would happen under the same guise, too: For our own “protection”. Sorry, but what I want to feed myself, my kids and my farm animals shouldn’t be the business of some corrupt government agency who is most likely playing footsie under the table with companies like Monsanto who have their own self serving agendas. And that regulation is just a small piece of what is going on.

Consider this quote from Linn Cohen-Cole, a dedicated researcher on issues like this, on another freedom issue for farmers.  (She “is a leftist who was lucky enough to meet libertarian and conservative farmers and become friends, learning an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about increasing government violations against them and against us all.”).

“One of the largest components of Smart Grid is already being implemented by the USDA; it’s called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) it requires farmers to implant a RFID tag into the body of all of their livestock–cows, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, all livestock. The NAIS threatens to destroy small-scale family farms. Coupled with Smart Grid, the NAIS strengthens the ability of Government officials to control rural Americans as completely as they control people in the cities.

President Obama believes implementing Smart Grid is urgent. He wants the program to expand quickly, with all of us on the thinking grid by 2011. All of us.

Notice the great rush to do this. The great and unjust and non-transparent and immensely UNDEMOCRATIC rush – to force on the entire country something they know nothing about.

We are talking about one of the most massively controlling laws in the history of this country and one affecting the health and thus existence of every single person. We are talking about the take over of the US food supply by industrial forces and the contamination and thus death of organic farming through stealth.

Everything green, healthy, anti-global warming, local, decent, environmental, community building, independent, free thing that organic farming is, we need. But the corruption of our government and politicians by Monsanto and especially the Clinton influence on behalf of Monsanto, is bringing us horror.

Obama must be held accountable. The bum’s rush is not grassroots anything. The implementation of plans laid during Bush’s regime is not change. This, no matter how you cut it, is fascist.

I believe that maintaining local farmers’ freedom goes further than just our ability to find nourishing food. It goes to the very center of what it means to have freedom. Take away our freedom to produce and eat the food which we desire, the food which we hope to nourish our families with, and we lose a battle more serious than the battle for our health, we lose the battle for our basic freedoms.

I know one thing, I trust those weather beaten, hard working hands of my local farmer a hundred times, no….a thousand times more than any new “regulations” to keep me safe in what I eat. Is this what we have to look forward to for the next four years? If this is how the current, brand new administration gets things started, what’s in store for us? I am surprised that these issues have not been more debated and discussed in newspapers, talk radio, and blogs.

Please, take action today. Read more about this issue, spread the word as quickly as you can, as these changes are going to take place soon.

For more information on what is currently in the works, I urge you to read many of the excellent articles out there by Linn Cohen-Cole. She includes many links that you will find helpful.

Goodbye Farmer’s Stand, CSA and Road Side Stands

Monsanto and the Schoolmarm method of punishing farmers out of farming

Monsanto bills being rushed through Congress, set to destroy organic farming.

Monsanto’s Dream Bill HR 875 Quote:

“HR 875, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.

The bill is monstrous on level after level – the power it  would give to Monsanto, the criminalization of seed banking, the prison terms and confiscatory fines for farmers, the 24 hours GPS tracking of their animals, the easements on their property to allow for warrantless government entry, the stripping away of their property rights, the imposition by the filthy, greedy industrial side of anti-farming international “industrial” standards to independent farms – the only part of our food system that still works, the planned elimination of farmers through all these means.  “


A solemn walk through HR 875


HR 875 – the death of freedom in America

It’s been obvious to farmers and cattlemen that stopping NAIS is about preserving the most basic freedoms necessary to farm, but if people will take time to read HR 875 (and there are comments to help them along), they will see stopping those bills is fundamental to freedom for all of us to even exist. The bills are massively, massively, massively totalitarian. Our legislators will be voting (most with no idea) on a complete take over of this country.

After you feel you know what the issue is, please go here to write a personal note to those who are currently deciding the future of our farming and futures (it will also be sent to a local newspaper in your area).

Disclaimer: I realize that some of you may disagree with my views. If so, I hope you will still enjoy my recipes. 🙂 I do not claim to understand every facet of this issue and am still in research mode, but I feel that this issue is urgent and I feel enough deep concern to bring it to your attention asap. I also wanted to mention that there does need to be better food safety accountability for some of these large, corrupt companies. I am not debating that. I am debating them taking advantage of a problem (like the recent peanut food illness outbreak) to gain unnecessary control over our food system. Please share your thoughts, and if you are a blogger and feel that this is a worthy issue, please blog about it too! We need to get the word out.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been following these bills for a while and have already written my senators and congressmen about them.

    That said, a lot of what’s being said about them is a bit overblown. Yes, all of the proposed laws put far too much power in the hands of the federal government. But they don’t spell the death of the family farmer. A careful reading of the proposed laws (particularly HR875) reveals that they’re exempt.

    La Vida Locavore read through the proposed laws and dissected their pluses and minuses for us here:

    http://www.lavidalocavore.org/showDiary.do?diaryId=1147

    So, while I agree the laws are terrible and absolutely SHOULD NOT pass in their current form, I also know that some version of the law WILL pass. So, when I wrote my congressmen, I asked for them to work at clarifying the exemption language so that it was more explicit.

    Other than that, all we can do is PRAY.

    Lord have mercy on us and on the whole world.

    -KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

    KH: Hey Kristen, I agree that some of the fears caused by the current laws could seem overblown and I appreciated the article that you linked too. I personally know several small local farms that are or have been on the verge of not making it. They work SO hard, and get so little in return. If any laws are passed that require 1-traceability-like NAIS ($$$$$) 2-A lot of paperwork, permits, or other time consuming and extra expenses etc then they would probably not make it. Then, of course, there is the bigger issue of FREEDOM! For example, the reason some of the bills are getting pushed so much is because of the recent fiasco with the peanuts. However, what happened there was clearly not legal even with current laws. It seemed to be a problem (to me) of enforcement rather than a problem with current regulations. Yet, these bills are being pushed as if they are the answer. I don’t quite get the connect there. Knowing that our current president supports things like NAIS makes me feel that our current administration is on a totally different page than this freedom loving family! Putting too much power in the hands of the federal government puts us on shaky ground for the future. Even if the current bills won’t effect local small farmers right away, having too much power invested in government will make it easy for those in power to greatly effect the freedom of farmers in the future.

  2. says

    Thank you, so much, Kimi, for addressing this issue. These bills have recently brought great concern to my husband and me. We watched the documentary “The Future of Food” a little more than a year ago, and learned about the dangerous power that Monsanto is wielding. We are doing our part by contacting our legislators regarding these bills. And we are trusting God to continue to grant us liberty even over providing nourishing food for our families.

  3. Jessica O. says

    Kimi,
    This is really awful & scary. Thank you for doing this post & letting us know. Being so passionate about feeding my family healthy….this greatly scares me….
    Jessica O.

  4. says

    My grandfather is one of those “old time” farmers who bought the Monsanto bait hook, line, and sinker… Sprayed with their products, planted their seed, harvested cotton with their defoliants, etc.. He also developed massive lymphoma and had several heart attacks. My grandmother (who, obviously, lived with him, and spent time around the poison, ahem, pesticide), developed aggressive Alzheimer’s disease.

    Hmm… correlation? Perhaps.

    The part that bothers me the most about Monsanto is that they have their fingers in every slice of the pie… their seed is modified to only work with THEIR pesticides, defoliants, herbicides, and then you can’t seed save (and why would you, really), and – most frightening – the seed DOESN’T EVEN GERMINATE if you don’t use Monsanto’s products to get it to do that. … yeah.

    While, as Kristen said, this bill really isn’t all that “bad”, it’s frightening to think that they want to do it anyway – even if it is in the name of “safety”.

  5. Jessica says

    Thanks so much for alerting us to this. I plan to write letters and do what I can to advocate for our freedom. Just another area to continue to hold up in prayer. Praise God that we have the hope of heaven before us!

  6. says

    reminds me of that old REM song…it’s the end of the world as we know it….. and I just keep saying psalm 23 over and over in my head…the lord is my shepard I shall not want he maketh me to lie down in green pastures he leadth me beside the still waters…… and I agree with you – I hate politics too. But when they stomp on my freedom I hate em enough to say OUCH!

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing this…I had heard about it, but only by word of mouth. It is great to get more info from a godly perspective too!
    Now, we need to stand up for the parent rights bills that they are trying to pass quickly also!
    I posted about this on my blog, so hopefully others will come and read more about it!
    Thanks again!
    Tarena

  8. Katie says

    What’s interesting (but not surprising) is that the HR 875 bill was introduced by Rosa Delauro who is married to Stanley Greenberg who works for Monsanto. I don’t believe a single thing about this is disinterested or developed “for the public good”.

    Thanks for writing about this, Kimi.

  9. says

    THANK YOU, Kimi, for taking the time to outline this complex bill and subject matter. There are always so many layers to uncover – and then, as noted by Katie, who know what else lurks in the vaults of the very people we are supposed to trust. Biodiversity is on its way to extinction unless we are pro-active and let our voices be heard. I have sent this to many, and will contact OpEdNews to share my opinion(s.)

  10. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I had no idea… off to investigate more. I love buying food from farmers markets, road side stands, CSA’s… I would hate to have that freedom taken away.

  11. says

    Kimi,

    Thanks for getting out in front on this. While some may say that fears may be overblown, our “representatives” don’t always read what they are signing. (TARP)
    There are a number of factors that make it so very important that we protect our local farmers.
    – The downturn in the economy makes it necessary for many to utilize local farmer markets and road side stands to put fresh produce on the table.
    – The water shortage in California has not yet created enough noise to get over the economy issues to be seen as a real threat to fresh produce affordability.
    – People using local farmers and markets are doing their part to minimize the emission of green house gasses that are emitted by the big “factory” farms and the transportation to get their produce to market.

    So I encourage everyone to contact their representatives and communicate your support for a well written bill that protects local farmers.

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