Friday, December 21, 2007

No Bar Code - Evangelical Virginia farmer wants agricultural revolution

No Bar Code

News: An evangelical Virginia farmer says a revolution against
industrial agriculture is just down the road.

By Michael Pollan
Photos: Jim Franco

May/June 2006 Issue


EmailE-mail article
PrintPrint article

[Image] Digg
[Image] Reddit
[Image] Yahoo MyWeb

E-mail the editor

[Image] StumbleUpon
[Image] Newsvine
[Image] Netscape
Google Google


* Seeing Red: Eating Locally and Debunking the Red-Blue Divide
* Chew the Right Thing: Interview with Philosopher Peter Singer
* How a California Program Turns Farmworkers into Organic Farmers

[Image]Ad: Sponsored by Mother Jones
MoJo Blog

Vitter vs. Craig: Homophobic Hypocrisy from the GOP

John McCain and the Sensitivities of Suffering

Missing Weapons Found in Turkey

GAO Report: Iraqis Meeting 3 of 18 Benchmarks

"State Secrets" Win Protects Nevada Defense Contractor Connected to
Governor, Air Force

Happy Anniversary, Katrina Victims! You Could Celebrate With Cash if
You Weren't So Unscrupulous

Burma Protests, Gets Shout-out From Jim Carrey

Wyoming Moves Primary to January 5, Drives Me Crazy

White House Settles First Amendment Suit

Never Mind. U.S. Forces Release 8 Iranians Seized in Baghdad

I might never have found my way to Polyface Farm if Joel Salatin
hadn't refused to FedEx me one of his chickens.

I'd heard a lot about the quality of the meat raised on his "beyond
organic" farm, and was eager to sample some. Salatin and his family
raise a half-dozen different species (grass-fed beef, chickens, pigs,
turkeys, and rabbits) in an intricate rotation that has made his 550
hilly acres of pasture and woods in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley one
of the most productive and sustainable small farms in America. But
when I telephoned Joel to ask him to send me a broiler, he said he
couldn't do that. I figured he meant he wasn't set up for shipping, so
I offered to have an overnight delivery service come pick it up.

"No, I don't think you understand. I don't believe it's
sustainable—`organic,' if you will—to FedEx meat all around the
country," Joel told me. "I'm afraid if you want to try one of our
chickens, you're going to have to drive down here to pick it up."

This man was serious. He went on to explain that Polyface does not
ship long distance, does not sell to supermarkets, and does not
wholesale its food. All of the meat and eggs that Polyface produces is
eaten within a few dozen miles or, at the most, half a day's drive of
the farm—within the farm's "foodshed." At first I assumed Joel's
motive for keeping his food chain so short was strictly
environmental—to save on the prodigious quantities of fossil fuel
Americans burn moving their food around the country and, increasingly
today, the world. (The typical fruit or vegetable on an American's
plate travels some 1,500 miles to get there, and is frequently better
traveled and more worldly than its eater.) But after taking Joel up on
his offer to drive down to Swoope, Virginia, to pick up a chicken, I
picked up a great deal more—about the renaissance of local food
systems, and the values they support, values that go far beyond the
ones a food buyer supports when he or she buys organic in the
supermarket. It turns out that Joel Salatin, and the local food
movement he's become an influential part of, is out to save a whole
lot more than energy.

In Joel's view, the reformation of our food economy begins with people
going to the trouble and expense of buying directly from farmers they
know—"relationship marketing," the approach he urges in his recent
book, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm
Friendly Food. Joel believes that the only meaningful guarantee of
integrity is when buyers and sellers can look one another in the eye,
something few of us ever take the trouble to do. "Don't you find it
odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or
house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows
their food?"
Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm
Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm

Joel, who describes himself as a
"Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-lunatic farmer," speaks of his
farming as his "ministry," and certainly his 1,000 or so regular
customers hear plenty of preaching. Each spring he sends out a long,
feisty, single-spaced letter that could convince even a fast-food
junkie that buying a pastured broiler from Polyface Farm qualifies as
an act of social, environmental, nutritional, and political redemption.

"Greetings from the non-bar code people," began one recent missive,
before launching into a high-flying jeremiad against our disconnected
"multi-national global corporate techno-glitzy food system" with its
"industrial fecal factory concentration camp farms." (The dangerous
pileup of modifiers is a hallmark of Joel's rhetorical style.) Like
any good jeremiad, this one eventually transits from despair to hope,
noting that the "yearning in the human soul to smell a flower, pet a
pig and enjoy food with a face is stronger now than anytime in
history," before moving into a matter-of-fact discussion of this
year's prices and the paramount importance of sending in your order
blanks and showing up to collect your chickens on time.

I met several of Polyface's parishioners on a Thursday in June as they
came to collect the fresh chickens they'd reserved. It was a
remarkably diverse group of people: a schoolteacher, several retirees,
a young mom with her towheaded twins, a mechanic, an opera singer, a
furniture maker, a woman who worked in a metal fabrication plant in
Staunton. They were paying a premium over supermarket prices for
Polyface food, and in many cases driving more than an hour over a
daunting (though gorgeous) tangle of county roads to come get it. But
no one would ever mistake these people for the well-heeled, urban
foodies generally thought to comprise the market for organic or
artisanal food. There was plenty of polyester in this crowd and a lot
more Chevrolets than Volvos in the parking lot.

So what exactly had they come all the way out here to the farm to buy?
Here are some of the comments I collected:

"This is chicken as I remember it from my childhood. It actually
tastes like chicken."

"I just don't trust the food in the supermarket anymore."

"These eggs just jump up and slap you in the face!"

"You're not going to find fresher chickens anywhere."

"All this meat comes from happy animals—I know because I've seen them.
And the pork tenderloin is to die for!"

"I drive 150 miles one way to get clean meat for my family."

"It's very simple: I trust the Salatins more than I trust Wal-Mart.
And I like the idea of keeping my money right here in town."

I was hearing, in other words, the same stew of food fears and food
pleasures (and food memories) that has driven the growth of the
organic food industry over the past 20 years—that, and the
satisfaction many Polyface customers clearly take in spending a little
time on a farm, porch-chatting with the Salatins, and taking a
beautiful drive in the country to get here. For some people,
reconnecting with the source of their food is a powerful idea. For the
farmer, these on-farm sales allow him to recapture the 92 cents of a
consumer's food dollar that now typically winds up in the pockets of
processors, middlemen, and retailers.

I asked Joel how he answers the charge that because food like his is
more expensive, it is inherently elitist. "I don't accept the
premise," he replied. "First off, those weren't any `elitists' you met
on the farm this morning. We sell to all kinds of people. Second,
whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it's
actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their
attention. Then I explain that, with our food, all of the costs are
figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water
pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illnesses, of crop
subsidies, of subsidized oil and water—of all the hidden costs to the
environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No
thinking person will tell you they don't care about all that. I tell
them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can
buy irresponsibly priced food."

As it is, artisanal producers like Joel compete on quality, which,
oddly enough, is still a somewhat novel idea when it comes to food.
"When someone drives up to the farm in a BMW and asks me why our eggs
cost more, well, first I try not to get mad," said Joel. "Frankly, any
city person who doesn't think I deserve a white-collar salary as a
farmer doesn't deserve my special food. Let them eat E. coli. But I
don't say that. Instead I take him outside and point at his car. `Sir,
you clearly understand quality and are willing to pay for it. Well,
food is no different: You get what you pay for.'

"Why is it that we exempt food, of all things, from that rule?
Industrial agriculture, because it depends on standardization, has
bombarded us with the message that all pork is pork, all chicken is
chicken, eggs eggs, even though we all know that can't really be true.
But it's downright un-American to suggest that one egg might be
nutritionally superior to another." Joel recited the slogan of his
local supermarket chain: "`We pile it high and sell it cheap.' What
other business would ever sell its products that way?"

When you think about it, it is odd that something as important to our
health and general well-being as food is so often sold strictly on the
basis of price. Look at any supermarket ad in the newspaper and all
you will find in it are quantities—pounds and dollars; qualities of
any kind are nowhere to be found. The value of relationship marketing
is that it allows many kinds of information besides price to travel up
and down the food chain: stories as well as numbers, qualities as well
as quantities, values rather than "value." And as soon as that
happens, people begin to make different kinds of buying decisions,
motivated by criteria other than price. But instead of stories about
how it was produced accompanying our food, we get bar codes—as
illegible as the industrial food chain itself, and a fair symbol of
its almost total opacity.

Much of our food system depends on our not knowing much about it,
beyond the price disclosed by the checkout scanner; cheapness and
ignorance are mutually reinforcing. And it's a short way from not
knowing who's at the other end of your food chain to not caring—to the
carelessness of both producers and consumers that characterizes our
economy today. Of course, the global economy couldn't very well
function without this wall of ignorance and the indifference it
breeds. This is why the American food industry and its international
counterparts fight to keep their products from telling even the
simplest stories—"dolphin safe," "humanely slaughtered," etc.—about
how they were produced. The more knowledge people have about the way
their food is produced, the more likely it is that their values—and
not just "value"—will inform their purchasing decisions.

TO TALK TO THE CUSTOMERS and farmers working together in Joel
Salatin's corner of the country to rebuild a local food chain is to
appreciate it is a movement and not merely a market. Or rather it is a
novel hybrid, a market-as-movement for at its heart is a new
conception of what it means to be a "consumer"—an attempt to redeem
that ugly word, with its dismal colorings of selfishness and
subtraction. Many of the Polyface customers I met (though by no means
all of them) had come to see their decision to buy a chicken from a
local farmer rather than from Wal-Mart as a kind of civic act, even a
form of protest. A protest of what exactly is harder to pin down, and
each person might put it a little differently, but the customers I met
at Polyface had gone to some trouble and expense to "opt out"—of the
supermarket, of the fast-food nation, and, standing behind that, a
globalized industrial agriculture. Their talk of distrusting Wal-Mart,
resenting the abuse of animals in farm factories, insisting on knowing
who was growing their food, and wanting to keep their food dollars in
town—all this suggested that for many of these people spending a
little more for a dozen eggs was a decision inflected by a politics,
however tentative or inchoate.
Beyond organic farmer Joel Salatin
"Beyond organic" farmer Joel Salatin

"Opting out" is a key term for Joel, who believes that it would be a
fatal mistake to "try to sell a connected, holistic, ensouled product
through a Western, reductionist, Wall Street sales scheme"—by which (I
think) he means selling to big organic supermarkets like Whole Foods.
As far as Joel is concerned, there isn't a world of difference between
Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. Both are part of an increasingly globalized
economy that turns any food it touches into a commodity, reaching its
tentacles wherever in the world a food can be produced most cheaply
and then transporting it wherever it can be sold most dearly.

Shortly before I traveled to Virginia, I'd reread an essay by Wendell
Berry in which he argued that reversing the damage done to local
economies and the land by the juggernaut of world trade would take
nothing less than "a revolt of local small producers and local
consumers against the global industrialism of the corporations." He
detected the beginnings of such a rebellion in the rise of local food
systems and the growing market "for good, fresh, trustworthy food,
food from producers known and trusted by consumers." Which, as he
points out, "cannot be produced by a global corporation." Berry would
have me believe that what I was seeing in the Polyface salesroom
represented a local uprising in a gathering worldwide rebellion
against what he calls "the total economy."

Why should food, of all things, be the linchpin of that rebellion?
Perhaps because food is a powerful metaphor for a great many of the
values to which people feel globalization poses a threat, including
the distinctiveness of local cultures and identities, the survival of
local landscapes, and biodiversity. When José Bové, the French
Roquefort farmer and anti-globalization activist, wanted to make his
stand against globalization, he used his tractor to smash not a bank
or insurance company but a McDonald's. Indeed, the most powerful
protests against globalization to date have revolved around food: I'm
thinking of the movement against genetically modified crops, the
campaign against patented seeds in India (which a few years ago
brought as many as half a million Indians into the streets to protest
World Trade Organization intellectual property rules), and Slow Food,
the Italian-born international move- ment that seeks to defend
traditional food cultures against the global tide of homogenization.

Even for people who find the logic of globalization otherwise
compelling, the globalization of food often stops them short. Treating
food as a commodity like any other simply doesn't square with their
beliefs or experience. But that is precisely where the logic of
globalization leads: Once the last barrier to free trade comes down,
and the last program of government support for farmers ends, our food
will come from wherever in the world it can be produced most cheaply.
The iron law of competitive advantage dictates that if another country
can grow something more efficiently—whether because its land or labor
is cheaper or its environmental laws more lax—we will no longer grow
it here. What's more, under the global economic dispensation, this is
an outcome to be wished for, since it will free our land for more
productive uses—more houses, say. Since land in the United States is
relatively expensive, and our tolerance for agricultural pollution and
animal cruelty is rapidly wearing thin, in the future all our food may
come from elsewhere, as well it should. This argument has been made
by, among others, economist Steven C. Blank, in a book rather
bloodlessly titled The End of Agriculture in the American Portfolio.
Joel Salatin's son Daniel
Joel Salatin's son Daniel

And why should a nation produce its own food when others can produce
it more cheaply? A dozen reasons leap to mind, but most of them the
Steven Blanks of the world—and they are legion—are quick to dismiss as
sentimental. I'm thinking of the sense of security that comes from
knowing your community, or country, can feed itself; the beauty of an
agricultural landscape; the outlook and kinds of local knowledge the
presence of farmers brings to a community; the satisfactions of buying
food from a farmer you know rather than the supermarket; the locally
inflected flavor of a raw-milk cheese or honey. All those things—all
those pastoral values—free trade pro-poses to sacrifice in the name of
efficiency and economic growth.

Though you do begin to wonder who is truly the "realist" in this
debate, and who the romantic. We live, as Berry has written, in an era
of "sentimental economics," since the promise of global capitalism,
much like the promise of communism before it, ultimately depends on an
act of faith: that if we permit the destruction of certain things we
value here and now, we will achieve a greater happiness and prosperity
at some unspecified future date. As Lenin reputedly put it, in a
sentiment the WTO endorses in its rulings every day, you have to break
a few eggs to make an omelet.

Perhaps it is no accident that sentimental communism foundered
precisely on the issue of food. The Soviets sacrificed millions of
small farms and farmers to the dream of a collectivized industrial
agriculture that never managed to do what a food system has to do:
feed the nation. By the time of its collapse, more than half of the
food consumed in the Soviet Union was being produced by small farmers
and home gardeners operating without official sanction on private
plots tucked away in the overlooked corners and cracks of the
crumbling Soviet monolith. George Naylor, an outspoken Iowa corn and
soybean farmer who heads up the National Family Farm Coalition, has
likened the rise of alternative food chains in America to "the last
days of Soviet agriculture. The centralized food system wasn't serving
the people's needs, so they went around it. The rise of farmer's
markets and CSAs [community supported agriculture, the name for farms
that offer weekly boxes of produce on a subscription basis] is sending
the same signal today." Of course, the problems of our food system are
very different—if anything, it produces too much food, not too little,
or too much of the wrong food. But there's no question that it is
failing many consumers and producers, who together are finding
creative ways around it.

So much about life in a global economy feels as though it has passed
beyond the individual's control—what happens to our jobs, to the
prices at the gas station, to the votes in the legislature. But
somehow food still feels a little different. We can still decide,
every day, what we're going to put into our bodies, what sort of food
chain we want to participate in. We can, in other words, reject the
industrial omelet on offer and decide to eat another. This might not
sound like a big deal, but it could be the beginnings of one. Already
the desire on the part of consumers to put something different in
their bodies has created a $14 billion market in organic food in the
United States. That marketplace was built by consumers and farmers
working informally together outside the system, with exactly no help
from the government.

The total economy, astounding in its ability to absorb every
challenge, is well on its way to transforming organic food from a
reform movement into an industry—another flavor in the global
supermarket. It took capitalism less than a quarter century to turn
even something as ephemeral as bagged salads of cut and washed organic
mesclun, of all things, into a cheap international commodity retailed
in a new organic supermarket. Whether this is a good or bad thing,
people will disagree; probably it's a little of both.

Joel Salatin and his customers want to be somewhere that juggernaut
can't go, and it may be that by elevating local above organic, they
have found exactly that place. By definition, local is a hard thing to
sell in a global marketplace. Local food, as opposed to organic,
implies a new economy as well as a new agriculture—new social and
economic relationships as well as new ecological ones. It's a lot more

Of course, just because food is local doesn't necessarily mean it will
be organic or even sustainable. There's nothing to stop a local farm
from using chemicals or abusing animals—except the gaze or good word
of its customers. Instead of looking at labels, the local food
customer will look at the farm for himself, or look the farmer in the
eye and ask him about how he grows his crops or treats his animals.
That said, there are good reasons to think a genuinely local
agriculture will tend to be a more sustainable agriculture. For one
thing, it is much less likely to rely on monoculture, the original sin
from which almost every other problem of our food system flows. A
farmer dependent on a local market will, perforce, need to grow a wide
variety of things, rather than specialize in the one or two plants or
animals that the national market (organic or otherwise) would ask from

The supermarket wants all its lettuce from the Central Valley, all its
apples from Washington state, and all its corn from Iowa. (At least
until the day it decides it wants all its corn from Argentina, all its
apples from China, and all its lettuce from Mexico.) People in Iowa
can eat only so much corn and soybeans themselves. So when Iowans
decide to eat locally, rather than from the supermarket, their farmers
will quickly learn to grow a few other things besides. And when they
do, they'll probably find they can give up most of their fertilizers
and pesticides, since a diversified farm will produce much of its own
fertility and its own pest control.

Shopping in the Organic Supermarket underwrites important values on
the farm; shopping locally underwrites a whole set of other values as
well. Farms produce a lot more than food; they also produce a kind of
landscape and kind of community. Whether Polyface's customers spend
their food dollars here in Swoope or in the Whole Foods in
Charlottesville will have a large bearing on whether this lovely
valley—this undulating checkerboard of fields and forests—will endure,
or whether the total economy will find a "higher use" for it. "Eat
your view!" is a bumper sticker often seen in Europe these days; as it
implies, the decision to eat locally is an act of land conservation as
well, one that is probably a lot more effective (and sustainable) than
writing checks to environmental organizations.
Joel Salatin's niece Heidi
Joel Salatin's niece Heidi

"Eat your view!" takes work, however. To participate in a local food
economy requires considerably more effort than shopping at the Whole
Foods. You won't find anything microwavable at the farmer's market or
in your weekly box of organic produce from the CSA, and you won't find
a tomato in December. The local food shopper will need to put some
work into sourcing his own food—learning who grows the best lamb in
his area, or the best sweet corn. And then he will have to become
reacquainted with his kitchen. Much of the appeal of the industrial
food chain is its convenience; it offers busy people a way to delegate
their cooking (and food preservation) to others. At the other end of
the industrial food chain that begins in a cornfield in Iowa sits an
industrial eater at a table. (Or, increasingly, in a car.) The
achievement of the industrial food system over the past half-century
has been to transform most of us into precisely that creature.

All of which is to say that a successful local food economy implies
not only a new kind of food producer but a new kind of eater —one who
regards finding, preparing, and preserving food as one of the
pleasures of life rather than a chore. One whose sense of taste has
ruined him for a Big Mac, and whose sense of place has ruined him for
shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart. This is the consumer who
understands—or remembers—that, in Wendell Berry's memorable phrase,
"eating is an agricultural act." He might have added it's a political
act as well.

ON MY LAST DAY ON THE FARM, a soft June Friday afternoon, Joel and I
sat talking at a picnic table behind the house while a steady stream
of customers dropped by to pick up their chickens. I asked him if he
believed the industrial food chain would ever be overturned by an
informal, improvised movement made up of farmer's markets, box
schemes, metropolitan buying clubs, Slow Foodies, and artisanal
meat-processing plants. Even if you count the Organic Supermarket, the
entire market for all alternative foods remains but a flea on the
colossus of the industrial food economy, with its numberless fast-food
outlets and supermarkets backed by infinite horizons of corn and soybeans.

"We don't have to beat them," Joel patiently explained. "I'm not even
sure we should try. We don't need a law against McDonald's or a law
against slaughterhouse abuse—we ask for too much salvation by
legislation. All we need to do is empower individuals with the right
philosophy and the right information to opt out en masse.

"And make no mistake: it's happening. The mainstream is splitting into
smaller and smaller groups of like-minded people. It's a little like
Luther nailing his 95 theses up at Wittenberg. Back then it was the
printing press that allowed the Protestants to break off and form
their own communities; now it's the Internet, splintering us into
tribes that want to go their own way."

Of course! Joel saw himself as more of a Luther than a Lenin; the goal
wasn't to blow up the Church but simply to step around it.
Protestantism also comes in many denominations, as I suspect will the
future of food. Deciding whether that future should more closely
resemble Joel's radically local vision or Whole Foods' industrial
organic matters less than assuring that thriving alternatives exist;
feeding the cities may require a different sort of food chain than
feeding the countryside. We may need a great many different
alternative food chains, organic and local, biodynamic and Slow, and
others yet undreamed of. As in the fields, nature may provide the best
model for the marketplace, and nature never puts all her eggs in one
basket. The great virtue of a diversified food economy, like a diverse
pasture or farm, is its ability to withstand any shock. The important
thing is that there be many food chains, so that when any one of them
fails—when the oil runs out, when mad cow or other food-borne diseases
become epidemic, when the pesticides no longer work, when drought
strikes and plagues come and soils blow away—we'll still have a way to
feed ourselves. It is because some of those failures are already in
view that the salesroom at Polyface Farm is buzzing with activity this
afternoon, and why farmer's markets in towns and cities all across
America are buzzing this afternoon too.

"An alternative food system is rising up on the margins," Joel
continued. "One day Frank Perdue and Don Tyson are going to wake up
and find that their world has changed. It won't happen overnight, but
it will happen, just as it did for those Catholic priests who came to
church one Sunday morning only to find that, my goodness, there aren't
as many people in the pews today. Where in the world has everybody gone?"

This article is an excerpt from Michael Pollan's new book, The
Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.

Post a Comment

Your Name:

Your Comment:

i need to look up a certan barcode and soon any web address you
suggest please contact me at 330-622-5251
Posted by:May Spring onJune 13, 2007 10:27:10 AM
I own west coast labeling solutions. Ifg I can assisit you with bar
coding feel free to touch base with me. I've been in the bar code
industry for over 26 years. Regards, Rob Hinkelman (Pres.) West Coast
Labeling Solutions Toll Free: 877-465-235 Rob@...
Posted by:rob hinkelman onJuly 18, 2007 12:26:42 PM
The information in Omnivore's Delimina about Joel Salatin and Polyface
farm, Corn and it's place/impact on our lives, Grass, the "food
industry", etc. (and there is a vast about of information) is food for
thought and action. Tracking what we eat from its orgin to consumption
leads to concern about the contents of our food.
Posted by:Bob Wallace onAugust 18, 2007 7:17:31 AM
I'm reading Omnivore's Dilemma and I'm inspired to eat and buy food
differently. Thanks!
Posted by:Jesse onAugust 28, 2007 10:37:00 AM
great article!
Posted by:jesse onAugust 29, 2007 11:25:24 AM
I completely agree that the most sustainable practices for communities
to adopt is to SHOP LOCAL and ONLY CONSUME ORGANIC. This practice
alone solves major environmental and health issues.
Posted by:Ava onAugust 29, 2007 1:27:42 PM
Isn't it amazing to hear the voice of reason for a change? Doesn't
this system offer a lot more guarantees for sustainability and, very
importantly, the quality of the food we eat? If we find the right
balance, we may even find ourselves back instead of running around
like animals on steroids, trying to beat the deadline. And I
absolutely agree that the farmer is entitled to make as decent a
living as the guy in the suit. Outstanding performance, mister Saladin!
Posted by:Frances onAugust 29, 2007 1:49:51 PM
Really great article/book. I'm with these guys! Thanks for this.
Posted by:Rob Record onAugust 29, 2007 2:00:42 PM
Unfortuntly Joel and his ilk only make up a small portion of the world
we live in. In the USA, the majority of your citizens kill thousands
of each other for many reasons; but mostly over money. Joel preaches a
message of global and personal responsability for our food consumption
and the industries feeding us. And like most preachers he believes in
what he says; that is to say he accepts the things he knows to be
"true". He forgets the world around him, the millions of straving and
hungry developing nations who lack the technology and experience in
growing food. When we have enough food, enough to feed everyone in the
world, so that no one is left out; (Or can't afford it) then I'll
listen to this morons half-baked ideas about where I buy my groceries,
and who I support. Personally I do buy my produce directly from a
farm, but not everyone has access to, or can afford that. As far as
environmentally, do you factor in the extra gas and pollution used to
drive these idiots out to see you? Is your local pick-up method really
better for the earth overall? I don't see any of these questions being
asked. (Way to write in-depth Michael)
Posted by:Shaze onAugust 29, 2007 2:35:34 PM
Unfortuntly Joel and his ilk only make up a small portion of the world
we live in. In the USA, the majority of your citizens kill thousands
of each other for many reasons; but mostly over money. Joel preaches a
message of global and personal responsability for our food consumption
and the industries feeding us. And like most preachers he believes in
what he says; that is to say he accepts the things he knows to be
"true". He forgets the world around him, the millions of straving and
hungry developing nations who lack the technology and experience in
growing food. When we have enough food, enough to feed everyone in the
world, so that no one is left out; (Or can't afford it) then I'll
listen to this morons half-baked ideas about where I buy my groceries,
and who I support. Personally I do buy my produce directly from a
farm, but not everyone has access to, or can afford that. As far as
environmentally, do you factor in the extra gas and pollution used to
drive these idiots out to see you? Is your local pick-up method really
better for the earth overall? I don't see any of these questions being
asked. (Way to write in-depth Michael)
Posted by:Shaze onAugust 29, 2007 2:41:28 PM
Extremely well written and circumspect article. Thanks for the
information, the glimpse into interesting personalities, and the well
portioned food for thought.
Posted by:Charles Beck onAugust 29, 2007 2:45:09 PM
Extremely well written and circumspect article. Thanks for the
information, the glimpse into interesting personalities, and the well
portioned food for thought.
Posted by:Charles Beck onAugust 29, 2007 2:45:21 PM
I'd greatly appreciate suggestions for finding local farms near NYC
trying this approach.
Posted by:Bob Matsuoka (bob@matsuok onAugust 29, 2007 6:14:12 PM
Sorry -- my email address is bob@...
Posted by:Bob Matsuoka onAugust 29, 2007 6:14:38 PM
this is a great article - i totally agree - except nothing grows where
i live (northern Canada) - i sometimes wonder if human life is even
meant to live here...
Posted by:stephanie fehler onAugust 29, 2007 8:09:08 PM
I would love to see America get back to its roots. I think we're
slowly losing our souls to homogenized life. I don't want change to be
FORCED on society though. Changes have to start from the ground (the
consumer) up. Corporations have a right to make money and be
efficient, but consumers have the right to "opt out." If I had a farm
like this nearby I would also purchase at least some of my food there.
The American farmer is disappearing and it is a tragedy. This makes me
hope that in my lifetime things could change. Great article.
Posted by:JJ G onAugust 30, 2007 12:17:37 AM
Sounds neat - I at times yearn to do this sort of thing on my small
plot in Michigan...maybe one day. I've had chickens, strictly for eggs
(I tend to become too attached to eat them) and I must say - store
bought eggs are tasteless in comparison. Keep up the good work!
Posted by:Mark Gerics onAugust 30, 2007 5:18:53 AM
I wish Michael P. would have talked more about his slaughtering
process for the animals Polyface raises. Do they do it onsite? or do
they farm out the work to a local butcher? (pardon the pun)
Posted by:ryan onAugust 30, 2007 8:09:48 AM

No comments: