This months issue of Mother Jones has an article on Polyface Farm and Joel Salatin. His comments on farming and politics really speak to me.
No Bar Code: ““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.””
One of the things we always do when we come to Boone is visit the Watauga County Farmers Market, which is pretty much what they are talking about here. Buy local, get to know the local producers it’s the best protection you have to insure the quality of your food.
I really liked the term Joel used in the following quote to equate the production of food to the ecology of the area the farm is located in:
“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.”
I think I really like that term “foodshed”, pretty much says every thing you need to say…If you are in the “foodshed” of Polyface Farm you might want to check’em out. This is the kind of grassroots action that could just take-off (after half a century of trying).