Last year, Lily and Semira helped to paint these buses. This year, the buses are home to the chickens. They roam free during the day and sleep in the buses at night so they are not eaten by the local coyotes. This picture is for my dad. He freaks out about my $5 a dozen eggs. I keep telling him that at least I know where they come from. Speaking of knowing where your food comes from, Joel Salatin's talk was pretty interesting. Joel Salatin may sound like a familiar name, especially if you have read Michael Pollan's books (The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food) or watched Food Inc. He is pretty well known these days in the organic, local food circles. While a lot of what he said today was stuff I have already heard, food talk is still interesting and he is pretty entertaining. He's a tell it like it is kind of guy. Of course he was preaching to the choir today, but still a few points he made are worth repeating.
- Buying organic is more expensive because we are paying for the true cost of producing food. The externalities of the mainstream food system in the U.S. are endless and not reflected in the prices we pay.
- People can afford to pay more for food. They just need to make different choices (i.e. trading things of little or no value for things of value). Of course, it helps to eat in season, then freeze, can, and preserve the extras.
- Our entire food system is this country is so messed up. We are subsidizing all the wrong things...the things that are making us overweight and unhealthy (can you say corn, corn, corn, and more corn?).
- Embrace the pigness of pigs. Ok so we don't eat meat, but his point was that modern industrial agriculture ignores the natural inclinations of animals. The goal is to produce meat faster, bigger, fatter, and cheaper and that is not good for us on many levels. I have many reasons for not eating meat, but the ways in which animals are raised and killed is definitely a big one for me.
- And my favorite: RESPECT. We need to start respecting food and where it comes from. People are so disconnected from the process of growing food that the process itself and people have no soul as a result. Amen to that!