Since the staying in place order has been affecting our world, I have heard numerous people talking about food shortages – empty shelves, lack of produce in stores, etc. This has me feeling completely dismayed. In California, and many parts of the world, there are abundant farmer’s markets providing fresh, local produce at reasonable prices. And this has been going on for many years!
The current situation that people are experiencing is a symptom of our severely broken food distribution and farming culture in modern America. For less than a hundred years, Big Ag has been mistreating our farmers and putting them deeper into debt and failure to thrive. In addition, the quality of our food has plummeted. Yet, the public is unknowingly contributing to the continuation of this system through ignorantly buying produce in grocery stores that is more expensive and less fresh!
Only in recent years, has the popularity of farmer’s markets begun to put a dent into the unhealthy practices promoted by Big Ag and their promotion of mono-cropping. The brokenness of the food distribution system has been brought into clear focus through the effects of staying in place. Migrant workers who do so much of the field work, which includes harvesting our produce, have been kept out of the country due to the corona virus and closed borders.
Another issue that presents itself here is that our American workers aren’t stepping up to do these important jobs on our valuable farmland. Instead, they are trapped in the inner cities or hanging out on unemployment. But, that’s a story for another day!
As a result, food that would normally be found in grocery stores, is not being harvested and delivered. The system of trucking in produce from other areas of the country (or world, like organic foods from Mexico) has been stymied during this time as well. This is actually good news for our local farmers!
Have you looked around lately, taken a chance on something new and visited the local farmer’s markets to do your shopping? It’s such a great feeling to shop locally knowing that your dollars are supporting a family that lives within driving distance of home.
Check out the article above by clicking on the link!
The agricultural situation in our country is quite complex. So many pieces interacting create a political, financially motivated mess that ignores the needs of the farmers, their workers and the consumers. You can do your part by choosing to buy local, farm fresh foods that will give greater sustenance to your family and simultaneously support the very important changes that need to happen in the world of agriculture.
When fewer pesticides are used reducing the injury to people and land, water is distributed more wisely as diverse crops use water more efficiently, the quality of the food we eat will help to heal ourselves and the planet.
If you enjoyed the cleaner air and more peaceful experience during the early days of staying in place, then you understand that the level of pollution currently spewing into the environment has to be stopped. Diversifying agriculture will be a huge step towards that goal!