Over the years farming has changed dramatically. Shifting from smaller, generational, family farms, that were often handed down and grew a number of different crops to corporate behemoths which grow only one crop, and that is often a commodity crop. Sadly one of the losses suffered from this shift in the agricultural system is that of a connection to our food.
Most people don’t know who their farmer is anymore. And there is no accountability for the overuse of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Corporate farming relies on these chemicals and other additives to increase their profits.
Even more disturbing is the challenges that face those farmers who want to produce organic or sustainable crops. The subsidies currently paid by the government are for commodity crops and tend to favor the large agribusiness corporations. These subsidies also make it more profitable as larger operations that focus on subsidy crops receive more funds. This makes the concept of the family farm more difficult as many small farmers appear to no longer be able to support themselves simply through farming.
It is a sad and startling thought (and I am far from the first person to say this) that organic food production used to be the ONLY form of farming. As chemical fertilizers, pesticides, larger scale operations, and mono-cropping have been developed they have become the norm. There is an unfortunate side effect of this with regard to our health and the health of future generations.
The time has come to educate ourselves about where our food really comes from. And to develop a relationship with those who produce it (to the best of our ability — admittedly this is not always possible in all areas for all types of food). Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to eat multiple meals in one day. Doesn’t it make sense to feed ourselves well and support those who grow our food so that we can have the best food possible?