Our sick food system
The recent salmonella tomato scare has shocked some people, but I'm not at all surprised. It used to be mostly beef that got recalled - remember those days? When at least if you chose to be a vegetarian you felt safe. But now it's in the veggies too. What gives?
I think it's the whole damn system. The same day that the tomato recall was in the paper, I also saw a
story about a bunch of people who had to be evacuated from their homes because of toxins in the air from a nearby dairy farm - a HUGE dairy farm.
And bingo - that's your problem right there. Huge. Most farms these days are no longer the family farm that my grandparents ran. They are huge, greedy and corporate. They pollute like crazy, sap the land of all nutrients and don't give a crap for their neighbors. Hmmm, sounds a lot like a corporation doesn't it?
I'm not sure exactly how the salmonella got into those tomatoes or the ones in 2006 for that matter, (or the e-coli into the spinach etc.) but I can tell you why it got in there - our food system is sick. It is bloated, it is full of chemicals and has nothing to do with what is healthy for people or good for the Earth. It is all about one thing and one thing only now, and that is money.
The food industry says - How can we squeeze more and more out of the same tired dirt? How can we cut corners on cost of production? How can we force farmers to buy our products? How can we sue farmers if they don't? How can we market more and more non-food crap to the money dispensers we like to call "consumers"? How can we avoid any and all responsibility for our mistakes? How can we cover them up?
Now, I know that there is an organic food movement and a local food movement happening, and that is great. But, is it enough? We need more people to wake up to the fact that we can't rely on "the system" to protect us. We can't trust "the system" at all.
What do we need to do? We need to ask questions - lots of questions. And make demands. That is the way we can put pressure on the sick system to change and get better.
"What is in my food?" that's a good place to start. What poisons are you putting in the water? Why is it ok for a "farm" to get cited repeatedly, people have to be evacuated out of their homes and the "farm" keeps operating? Why do my tomatoes get shipped in from China when they can be grown next door? What are you the regulators doing about all these problems?
We must do all these things and more. We must not say what's in that? -wait, I don't want to know - ever again. And, for goodness sake, for all our sakes - grow your own damn food. And seriously - do it organically!
***End of rant***