By Shain Saberon
(Photo above: New York style steak from local beef producer Joe Nield.)
Congratulations! I applaud each and every one of you for supporting EverGreen Farm. However, more has to be done for the organic/buy-local movement to reach its potential. I offer seven more suggestions that I believe will encourage more local food production.
#1. Obtain as much of your daily food from local farmers as possible. If you eat meat, seek a local organic rancher first. If a purist does not exist, I believe it is more beneficial to buy from a local rancher who is mostly “organic” than to buy factory farmed organic from the supermarket.
#2. I have personally learned that support, praise, and encouragement are strong motivators that encourage food producers to change. This grows the movement. So whenever local farmers exist that are not “organic,” mention to them that if they would convert you would support them with even more of your purse. Would one of our local dairies convert to organic if one hundred locals signed and sent them a petition requesting they change some of their practices?
#3. When you cannot purchase local or regional foods, buy organic. This, at least, reduces the toxic toll of industrialized agriculture on our planet.
#4. Write your local and state representatives demanding legislation that strengthens small farms and local economies.
#5. Demand a farm bill from local, state, and federal representatives that limits the power of factory farms. These mega-farms are mostly extensions of multi-national corporations. Petition your representatives for the elimination of undue influence from corporate lobbyist on food legislation.
#6. Demand a farm bill that encourages a transition from factory to small farms. This was the original mandate of the USDA before it was corrupted and taken over by multinational agricultural, pharmaceutical, electronic, chemical, and other industrial corporations (the biggest multinational players are Monsanto, ADM, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Kraft Foods, Wal-Mart, Physer, Dupont, and Digital-Angel Electronics). Watch the movie The Future of Food for detailed information on this topic.
#7. Find and bookmark the following organizations on the Internet that are active in this cause: Cornucopia, The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Stop Animal Id.Org, The Organic Food Institute, Slow Foods, and Bioneers. Each of the listed organizations is an excellent resource in its own distinct food domain.