- sweet corn
- sweet peas
Now if you are like me, you believe that buying and eating organic
fruits and vegetables could be your answer to lessening the contamination in your food. And to a point you may be correct. Ask the guy at the farmers’ market, talk to the produce manager…but know this: Organic Farming does NOT equal pure, pesticide and insecticide free produce..
James E. McWilliams
wrote a book called: Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly
. In Just Food
, McWilliams focuses on 5 points:
- global food production is more fuel-efficient and more economically necessary (for developing countries that need export markets) than is local food production/consumption (“locovorism”)
- organic farming is no more healthy for people and for the land than is “wisely practiced” conventional agriculture
- genetically modified crops, in the right hands, should not be feared and are in fact necessary to feed the tens of billions of people who will live on this planet by 2050
- we must drastically reduce our production and consumption of meat animals and non-farmed fish
- we must get rid of “perverse” subsidies that undercut fair trade
Coming from Dakota, I can understand his message. Commercial farming, at least on small, family owned farms, is usually efficient, economical, and affordable. Farmers do not want to over fertilize nor do they want to over pesticide.
Many are turning to sustainable practices, and most already are prime examples of living and working in an environmentally friendly manner.
Like their grandfathers, they till alfalfa fields under, every 3 or 4 years to return nitrogen to the soil.
Image via Wikipedia
They conserve areas and harvest for local wildlife, they are practicing “no-till” planting which cuts down on equipment usage and therefore cuts down on fuel consumption, it also revitalizes the soil with decaying/composting the last harvest’s stubble. They utilize manure for fertilizing soil, and rotate crops.
seeds are resistant to many bugs and fungi, therefore eliminating the use of some pesticides and fertilizers.
I disagree with his 4th point, although some of the larger commercial farms practice steroidal and antibiotic regimes that are overly aggressive and can lead to a trickle down effect in the food chain.
The 5th item is not only important to our food but also to our economy. Our government subsidizes agriculture, both domestic and foreign. The domestic subsidies are a form of control. The government rigidly watches what and where and how much a farmer plants. Many farmers are paid to NOT farm….ironic when there is still global hunger and famine.
More ironic are the unfair subsidies given to foreign farmers (sic: Australian wool and lamb) that actually lowers the American market prices and forces many farmers to abandon family farms.
I raised commercial ewes in Dakota, and one year we got $0.05/pound of raw fleece which did not even pay the shearing costs. At the same time, the US government was paying over $0.30/pound for Australian wool.
Needless to say, we didn’t sell our wool that year, nor the next. We stored it in the barn and waited 3 years for the market to marginally rise.
But that’s a whole ‘nother story as my kids would say.
Keep an open and informed mind about your foods. Take your vitamins for women
and be blessed, Kersten