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.
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. “
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.