Monday, June 1, 2020

Support farmer’s markets for all kinds of reasons

Revolution is in the air! Not political, racial or theological, but a nutritional revolution. People everywhere are realizing that the human race veered off the tracks somewhere back in the forties, perhaps even earlier. I hate to bring every dang thing back to the government, but it seems that farmers were being pushed to yield more crops per acre for lower and lower profits to provide not just for Americans, but for the whole hungry world. A noble idea-feeding an entire planet cheaply-but just not feasible, and certainly not the responsibility of small family-owned American farms.
So, (says Uncle Sam) let’s incentivize corporate farming. Let’s make it look real good. Let’s get some big money in the game. But just to make it fair, let’s also set up a system where the little guy can get loans easily. High dollar lines of credit for high dollar equipment. And more land. And all of the seed and herbicide and pesticide that those corpora-farmers are crankin’ out.
Now we’ve got GMO’s, poisons leaching into our groundwater, corporations patenting seed, plants that resist disease or insect infestations only if they’re treated chemically, and food that looks good but tastes like crap.
We got here because the government lured big, money-grubbing businessmen into the business of growing our food, (and we went along for the low prices). They did it by providing tax shelters and research grants, among other things. And what cold, calculating CEO wouldn’t want to lead this very controllable market. Everyone eats, right?!
Meanwhile, the little guys’ family-owned farms are just trying to keep up with the big boys, but now have no control over their own businesses, and certainly no time to stop and even think about it, with those big high-dollar notes hanging over their heads…Bigger, faster, stronger…Bigger produce, faster harvesting times, stronger pest and disease resistance.
But this is what gives us tasteless vegetables and fruits with less nutrients. And worse, I believe this robo-produce is the very cause of the majority of our current health issues-mental and physical. I say pay a little more for healthy, fresh food today, and avoid costly doctor bills tomorrow. Grow your own gardens, if you can, but also do what you can to incentivize our local farmers to scale back. To think outside the box. Utilize their land and skills in new ways.
Support our Farmer’s Markets (Columbus: Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Reed Point: Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Big Timber: Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.) Come. Be inspired by totally fresh, locally grown food. Decide to plan your entire summer’s worth of weekly menus by what you find at the FM! Rise up! Revolt against revolting food! Eat well and be merry!

Audrey Steinfeldt
Reed Point