Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed. Connection is health. And what our society does its best to disguise from us is how ordinary, how commonly attainable, health is. We lose our health—and create profitable diseases and dependencies—by failing to see the direct connections between living and eating, eating and working, working and loving.-Wendell Berry
Everything is connected.
There is no exception. The decisions made by industry effect the decisions made by producers and suppliers, growers and regulators and from there affect us all. We cannot consume in a void and we cannot shirk the consequences of our decisions. They will be paid by the collective.
This means every problem is our problem, your problem.
In the food supply, the results of decisions made by less than one half of one percent of the population effect the water, soil and air of everyone. They imprint on our health and unsustainable healthcare system, our wages and our taxes. From there they affect everything we can or cannot purchase, everyone we can or cannot assist and the ripples go out across the globe. What we believe about these issues is then reflected in our politics, which also matters to the rest of the planet, not just ourselves and our countrymen.
When we are careless with soil, it doesn’t matter what PR campaign we bought into to make our decisions or how well we can verbally justify our actions, what matters is the result of those actions and the consequences for not just our family, but everyone around us.
Do the fisherman who are negatively impacted by water pollution care the intent of the polluters? Do the people who eat tainted fish or have their food supply diminished care the intent up the river? Is the polluter off the hook because their family doesn’t experience the direct result of their actions? No, in a world with the attitude that justified the negative act in the first place, the perpetrators will be the victims of another’s negative act.
Perhaps most painfully, when we try to make a decision that is good for everyone and we are wrong, there is still a price to pay.
Agriculture policy doesn’t just affect that nice farmer down the road and his sweet family. It doesn’t just affect the poor contract poultry manager or even the millionaire businessman who also owns farms. Agriculture policy, regulations and laws dictate the subsidies you pay farmers with your taxes, what the farmers grow, everything about their seed, how the animals are treated, how the plants are grown, how the people working in ag are treated, to whom the product is sold, how it is distributed, what it is made into, what is legal to use in processed products, the labeling that tells you everything about it, the claims that can be used in marketing, what you are allowed to buy, what makes up most of the Standard American Diet, what our children are fed in school and, ultimately, whether the healthcare system can function under the weight dumped on it.
This is why our ignorance and detachment from our food is not acceptable. There are many who will point out that it is us, the individual consumers, who are responsible for what we buy.
You are correct but it is not the sole correct statement on the issue.
We have the responsibility individually for what we eat but there is a collective responsibility to keep the social engineering of our government and industry in line with the best interest of our society.
There should not be dissonance between what we do on a personal level and what we require of government and industry, especially on an issue that reaches into our wallets, our homes, and the very cells of our bodies.
Everything is connected.
Happy eating, Katy