Oppression, Other nations, Our food

children? think again, fight back”]There is so much oppression and control in the world. It is overwhelming. What would happen if it just stopped? Would there be anarchy and chaos as the leaders think to justify their actions? Or would there actually be quiet peace?

 

I don’t know what my thoughts are on this. What I do know:

Four people died in Bahrain today peacefully protesting against the government by police controlling the crowds. They were trying to “teach them a lesson” after the media left.

The government in Cuba can control things as small how how much sugar a Cuban can buy and how much that sugar costs.

The US isn’t free of it. Our food system is one of the best examples.

Four years ago almost 70% of us were overweight or obese. SEVENTY PERCENT. Something is not right here. I’ll tell you what I suspect–we are being overfed and undernourished for the sake of the money machine that’s at work controlling us.

A tenth of farms produce three quarters of our food.They are big, the are industrial, they give lots of money to our politicians, they grow commodity crops, they get most of the government subsidies, and they are co-opting our votes.

The farmer a few years ago gets less than half of what he did sixty years ago. It’s not disappearing. It’s going to the middle man. It’s going to the food processing companies. It’s going to the food marketers. It’s not going to the people that feed us–it’s going to those that control them.

It’s not a strange thing when produce on our plate has traveled 1500 miles–even when it is in season where we live. We have become so used to the grocery system of constant availability that the local small farmers that cannot supply them have been cut out.

Americans are spending around $2.24 trillion on health care, we are fat, and many of us are still hungry even though we are growing plenty of calories (3900 calories per person per day in 2004). People who are sick have a hard time working, finding jobs, protesting, voting, or asking for change. People who are overweight or obese are sick. They are easy to control, and they are becoming our identity.

What can we do about this food control and this food oppression? We rebel, we build defenses against it. We work to change it.

1. Cut out the processed foods. The farmer is not getting nearly as much as they should. Refuse to contribute to this system as much as you are willing to do. Yes, Veggie Burgers in the frozen section of the grocery store count.

2. Directly pay for your food–put your money in the farmer’s hand that grew it. Find a farmers market or, better yet, a CSA, and you will be strengthening a community-centric (rather than control-centric) food system.

3. Cut out subsidy-based grains as much as possible–this includes corn, wheat, and soy. These crops are grown with tons of pesticides, lots of land, cause lots of erosion, and are shipped thousands of miles on average to your plate. Yes, vegetarians, that means you. Grab some local eggs and cheese to dominate your protein intake–not processed soy.

4. Hunt for your own food or befriend a hunter. In many places, deer or other game are overpopulated and endanger the local ecosystem. Some folks just hunt for sport–find out who they are and ask them to donate a carcass or some cuts. Learning to butcher an animal is a powerful experience–every person that eats meat should experience the power of a life.

5. Waste less food. Know realistically how much you eat, and then buy/cook/serve yourself that much. Less food you buy, the less your demand, and the less that needs to be grown with environmental impacts. In the wake of this economic downturn, it is important to embrace the humility and use it in ways that will improve our impact on our neighbors.

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