First and foremost is the fact that production of food is at a decided disadvantage in the marketplace. We subsidize commodities, which are the antithesis of food. Corn is most ofen used as feed for either cattle or giant manufacturing facilities. If a person went into most cornfields across America and tried to eat that crop, they would be sadly disappointed. Even the cattle who consume it would die within a few years if they were not slaughtered before then.
Big money, banks and the current farm regulations encourage old school fabrication of feedstocks for industry, not the feeding of people. As the next farm bill wends it’s way through congress, we the people need to be heard in the development of a more humane and sustainable system of food production. One of my earliest jobs was in a cannery. The things that I saw there convinced me that if people treat vegetables that badly, there is no way to expect them to treat their fellow humans any better. Once I got yelled at for throwing away vegetables that had fallen on the floor. Obediently, I began shoveling them up off the concrete, wincing as I tossed them back onto the conveyor belt. My supervisor looked on incredulously and yelled at me again. I was using the wrong shovel! The white plastic one! Not the rusty steel one! For goodness sake, they have already been on the floor, no? When food is treated as product, “standards” pretty much are the first to be compromised. I saw things in food production, both in the canning factory and in restaurants that made my stomach turn, but this is not about the end of the food processing systems, it is about production.
I am writing this on Valentine’s Day because of my love for humankind and the need to treat our Earth with respect. The small number of people and corporations who hold the lions share of the arable land in america reap the benefit of many Billions of farm subsidy. They continiue to do all the wrong things when it comes to being stewards of the land. This has to change for two reasons. Economically, we can’t afford to waste tax dollars propping up inefficient and dangerous food systems and as a people, we all pay for the non-food revolution in ways that are crippling our educational system, our healthcare system and the lives and health of our entire nation. Stand up and demand better treatment of the Earth, it is the only one we have. The only reason that a salad at Mc Donalds is five dollars, while you can get a burger for one, is outdated and dangerous regulations that do nothing to protect the public and do everytrhing to perturb the farm economy.