After years of trying to get food offered for life and nutrition to our students in schools we are finally getting some positive feedback from the people that hold the purse strings and rules that go with the money, the feds. Michelle Obama has dug up the sacred White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden with some school kids, giving credence to all of us that have been planting school gardens for years under suspicious and watchful eyes. She has legitimized kids learning how to plant their own foods while learning science, math, getting exercise and sunshine along with a million other positives of kids growing their own produce.
Her husband has new people trying to figure out a corrupt, inherited USDA in control of the national school lunch program joke. Tom Vilsak, the new secretary of agriculture actually took a jackhammer to a patch of lawn in front of his headquarters to create his own organic community garden. Wow, this is a guy on the team of our future food system shapers, radical, independent and aware that change needs to be made for the health of our country physically as well as metaphorically.
Current systems dictate taxpayers money pay the large, massively unconscious and devastatingly polluting large agri business growers to grow way too much corn and soy. Then we pay their subsidiaries to figure out devious ways of sneaking highly refined corn and soy byproducts into every kind of prepared foods available in a supermarket loaded with enough habit inducing sugar and fat to keep the sheep happy and coming back to the deadly trough until they get educated enough to change their eating and shopping habits to stay alive. The system continues on to pay those same large agri business people more money to put this hideous food into the national school lunch program, oh and yes by the way lets subsidize the whole operation with taxpayers money again. Sounds fishy to me and the old ways are definitely starting to stink up the hood. Perhaps this is all news to you and you thought that it was just cheap, bad food we fed the kids to keep everyone’s costs down. Simply part of the shenanigans my dear. I feel like the Obama administration may curb the dumbing down of America simply by encouraging Americans to take responsibility and become a part of the process of knowing what they are eating and how it got into their pantry.
After years of breaking bread and breaking ground with school age students it is most rewarding for me to be a part of a process that instead of going backwards to promote healthy eating is inching in the forward direction not only talking about supporting, but sustaining as well as growing the number of small family farms creating a food system that is based on local growers and people buying from these “food sheds”. The impact on our environment has the potential to be earth changing literally if the amount of fossil fuels used in transportation internationally of foods is reduced based on local consumption. Amounts of fossil fuel generated fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides may be reduced by the smaller growing model. Conventional smaller farms do not use as much as the large monoculture agri business and the organic growers use fossil fuels to grow their foods In the form of gas for tractors mainly.
Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers came about after world war two when munitions factories needed to be used as something else. They had already been using the technology to produce mustard gases as well as other weapons for the battlefields and the jump into this new realm of capitalism was not far. Sometimes I wish that I had the mind to come up with that stuff…
Agriculture took a major right turn with the availability of all these new fangled tools and the farm that used to rotate crops year after year no longer had to because of fertilizers. Farms that used animals as part of the growing process for fertilizer, weed control etcetera, no longer had to because it was easier to just buy the chemicals and grow one huge crop year after year. Few knew the outcome would be a fat, lazy polluted country dying from obesity related diseases although some did predict just this outcome.
Demand fresh fruit America! In Northern California our farmers grow year round producing an amazing amount of incredible veggies and fruits. Support these people putting out an incredible effort to bring you fresh food with no government help and little pay in return. Shop at a farmer’s market year round, rain or shine and not only in the summer when the fruit is sexy and luscious. What winter produce lacks in bikini appeal it more than makes up for in a warm, cozy snuggle of the beach campfire.
Better yet, plant your own garden on the new moon becoming a part of your future of food in America.