Organic watermelon radishes from Hairston Creek Farm

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Wake-Up Call

It is a tradition of mine to try to watch at least most of the motion pictures that are nominated for an Oscar before the big night. This year, I attempted to also watch the documentaries that had been nominated. Although my family has been buying mostly organic products in the last three years or so, nothing could have prepared my husband and I for how we felt after we watched Food, Inc. I had long ago suspected (out of common sense) that pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides were detrimental to our health. Here is what I did not know:
  1. How our food is produced these days is driven mainly by the fast food industry, an industry. The fast food industry wants to be able to sell food cheap. In order to do this, farmers are pushed to grow as much food as possible and as cheaply as possible. Do you really think that corners are not cut in order to achieve this? Why do you think that it is cheaper to buy a burger than a head of broccoli, for example? Production of broccoli is not subsidized by the fast food industry. Cheap meat is.
  2. I did not know that farmers have been tricked into buying genetically modified seeds and that that most seeds that farmers sow these days are owned, sold, and controlled by the same chemical companies that sell the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that I had decided long ago had no place in my home.
  3. I did not know that some chemists from these same companies, now work in the same government entities that are supposed to keep our food supplies safe. Conflict of interest? You bet!
So, this was my wake-up call. My wake-up call to start getting informed about what exactly I am eating and feeding my family. Although I had taken the right steps in that direction when deciding to buy mostly organic foods, there was still much to be learned. Since Food, Inc., I have read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and Maria Rodale's The Organic Manifesto. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle how my family has changed the way we eat so that we are eating mostly organic, local, and seasonal foods and to document the joys and challenges we face as we make our departure from cheaply-produced, nutritionally-compromised, conventionally-grown whole and processed foods. To encourage others to realize what we have known all along: When we produce anything as fast, easily, and cheaply as possible, there is always a price to pay later. The question is, when it comes to our food, what is the cost?

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