Industrialized food is a commodity that functions on a tightly organized linear assembly line, sort of like the automotive industry. Take out one part and the whole kit and caboodle goes to hell.
But the food we eat is not a car!
It’s part of a living breathing system that should involve love, relationship, and an ability to flexibly respond to emergent situations. The best way to achieve this is through re-localizing our food systems.
I’ve been reading so many stories about...
industrial food systems backing up as a result of stay at home orders. Vegetable farmers in Florida are leaving vegetables to rot, dairy farmers in New England are pouring gallons of milk down the drain, but the hardest cases for me to hear about the stories of livestock.
Many large meat processing plants had to close because of widespread Covid-19 cases among workers. Since there’s no one to process the meat, farmers have nowhere to send their “finished” animals and can’t hold on to them longer because new baby animals are already on their way to their farm. As a result many farmers are choosing to simply slaughter the animals ready for the plant and dumping them in a landfill.
This is the chance for us to reevaluate where we want our food to come from.
While I’d love it if every community was structured as an AgriHood, where every square foot of lawn is replaced with gardens for growing and pasture for raising livestock, we’re not there today. The next best thing is to start investing in our local farms through CSAs (community shared agriculture) and farmers markets. Many farmers markets have adjusted to the pandemic with stricter shopping guidelines in open air markets or by offering pre-order and curbside pick up options.
Shopping at a farmers market also keeps your money in the local economy by directly supporting businesses using regenerative practices, which are better for the planet and better for you, and builds social capital. All of which are valuable assets during times of food insecurity like, well, now.
t’s not too late!
Go now to the Google machine and look up “farmers markets near me” and you’ll discover many to choose from.
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash