>Food and Justice for All [Like Sheep through Genetically Modified Pastures]

>I sit here overwhelmed with the vast amount of knowledge that confirms just how messed up our food system really is.

Documentaries full of data and stats tell us that our bad food culture stems directly from fast food culture. From fast food culture stems loads of other things – a convenience culture at best. Supermarkets and megastores destroying local farms and economies.

We know these things – and I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow through.
We vote everyday with what we buy. It is a consumer driven market. The folks in the big buildings know that their income and well-being comes from our crippling ability to be bought off with cheap prices and modified food items.

I don’t think food is supposed to be cheap. I think we all should be paid more – if that makes sense. Here in Portland, it works. I believe it works because you have a population that truly loves its city. We want what’s best for our farmers because we actually see their faces – we see their farms – we see their families. There is love in this food.
We are also equally aware that corporations like Monsanto brings farmers to their knees if they decide not to use their products. It’s a filthy, filthy system and it simply breaks my heart.

When it comes to food – smaller is better. I wish to see more specialty stores – butcheries, fruit and vegetable markets, etc. What I love to see is people who have devoted their lives to making the best of their product, not someone else’s.
This is why, when you go to Thailand, India, Spain, France, etc – the food culture is brilliant – even for the poor. It’s affordable – I mean, it has to be. You can eat for .25cents on the side of the road and it’s good. food. It’s local and keeps it affordable.

I haven’t been to Thailand, Spain or France – but I do know there are lots of things about their food culture that is inspiring. (Like the rest of the world, minus the good ole’ USA) Small markets, butcheries, bakeries – things made fresh and when they run out…they run out.

I would love to buy things from people who put their name and pride into something. Like, this is MY cured meat, MY bread – I kneaded and baked this bread with my bare hands at 2am – it’s the best bread you’ll ever eat. I think to myself how wonderful a system such as this would be and how well it works in Portland. Especially in the summertime.

I wish other parts of this nation would adopt some of these practices, if possible. I understand how convenient Wal-Mart is — but there is a reason their prices are so low. Food should not be this cheap. Someone is being cheated and exploited and we are eating our way into a culture that everyone will come to despise.

As I make the occasional run to Costco (basically Sam’s Club) for my work, I am met by folks eating at the little cafes (or whatever they call em’). We simply shovel food into our mouths and leave – without even regarding what we just ate – other than the fact that it was hot, salty and…it’s food.
But we surely don’t appreciate it…other than the fact that its cheap and it fills us up.

I say this understanding that we all can’t afford good, fresh food – but what I am trying to say is that we should. We SHOULD demand fresh vegetables, fruits and humane products. Instead of buying canned green beans, buy fresh green beans. I used to hate fresh green beans because all I had ever eaten was canned. Of course, I also don’t have three hungry kids to feed and I understand having to cook and buy this food takes time…but I believe it’s worth it. It’s worth it to show our kids how to eat well and more importantly, how to cook.

I spend more on food these days – not because I have the money to, but because I feel better eating more locally sourced food. I look for more cage free options when coming to eggs and chicken. Read the labels – chicken breasts aren’t supposed to be that big – they are merely pumped full of hormones and water solutions. Good chicken should taste a little gamey and will probably shrink a lot more when you cook it – at least, that’s what I’ve come to find.

It’s these little decisions that will change the way we live. If we, as consumers, demand better ingredients, these companies will have to change.
We have missed keeping them accountable – and this idea goes for most things that are wrongheaded (as Dr. Perkins would say…) Our government hasn’t been held accountable and in return, we have been lied to and led like sheep through genetically modified pastures…

As the saying goes, “Think Global. Act Local” It rings true in our hearts that we, as lovers of humanity, make sure we are treating each other well…thinking local and eating local.
Whether this means eating in season so we don’t have to buy foods that are grown in warehouses – or simply boycotting sugar companies until they change their business practices.

These choices are in our hands.

We are far more powerful than they’ll ever imagine.
Everyone deserves good food. Everyone deserves a fair wage and fair treatment.

Let us listen to the Earth.
Let us listen to each other.

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