A couple of months ago I made a conscious decision to no longer buy dairy and meat products from my local grocery store. I grew up in a farm to table family. My parents always bought meat from our local butcher and fresh produce from a farm co-op in Wisconsin. My mom purchased very little at our grocery store, can goods were the anti christ in our house. If we didn’t make it from scratch, then well we didn’t eat it. One could say that we were organic before organic was cool.
Lately I have been doing a lot of research on factory farming, feed lots, and so on. My thought process changed the moment I watched a clip of chickens that were so large their legs broke when they tried to walk. A chicken is not meant to be 40 plus pounds. A chicken breast should not be as big as your head. We do not have solid research on the effects genetically engineered food has on our bodies. Hell its been found that most processing plants spray the meat with a solution to kill bacteria, then we turn around and eat that. I’m sorry but I do not want any chemicals with my meat, I just want plain old meat.
Truth, I am an agriculture geek and I was even president of the Red Wing FFA. Farmers are amazing people and their connection to the land they til runs deep. I have a soft spot for organic farmers and their families. I want to know the family that is raising my food and not the label the store sells. Each farm, each family has a story to tell, and they are the reason we all have food on our tables.
My table has wonderful organic free range pork and chicken on it. I get giddy when I place my order and then the farmer calls me to confirm. If something is out of stock they don’t go to the back of the store to get more, instead they say “AJ it’s going to be a while, we are currently raising ______ for your consumption in the fall.” I love it when they tell me that!
We have the power as consumers to fight back against the factory and to put the profits back into the pockets of the families that tend the soil. Many farmers are losing ground and are handing over their deeds to corporations. Many are going into debt in an attempt to stay alive. If they do not change or do what the Corporation says, their contract is pulled, and they are left with a mountain of bills.
You and I can end this, end this once and for all, you just need to join me and buy local. Buying local is a small part, yet its the wake up call Washington needs. The FDA and USDA are riddled with former Monsanto, Tyson, USA BEEF, and Cargill executives. They are the ones making the decisions regarding our food, our health, and for what to create a profit. That is what our country has come to “Profit over People.” Our small farmers are barely holding on and they are praying for a record yield that will quiet the banker. They are praying for someone like you to see the light and to fight against the feed lot down the road. They are fighting to put food on the table for their family, while trying to grow food for yours.
My table will be a symbol of one almost 30 something’s dream to end the factory farm and to bring the farmer to my home. Food always taste better when its grown with a smidge of love, strength, and hope for a better day. After all farming is what made America the great nation it is, that and the rail road. The rails brought the grain to port, the port brought it to the river, and the mighty Mississippi brought the grain belt of the midwest to the world.