by Kathi Miller, Fresh Start Farms
The shorter the distance between where your food was grown and you, the better for your health and the health of the planet. The fewer people involved in getting your food from field to your mouth, the healthier for all concerned in that effort.
In 2000, or there about, the great green organic seal arrived on our food. We started to have trust in a green sticker — the corporate, conventional food machine. There were 65 ingredients allowed in organic-labeled food that were not natural-based because there was no natural/organic ingredient to serve the needed purpose.
When that deal was made, work began to find natural replacements for the 65. Last time I checked we now have over 300 non-organic ingredients allowed in our food — food that is allowed to carry the green organic sticker.
Corporate, conventional food manufacturers blew off the organic movement in the beginning as an impossible threat to their enormous, quantity over quality, money-making industry. Then, as small farmer organic began to gain steam, the big boys gathered their lawyers and lobbyists and began competing with the health movement.
What the big guys didn’t understand was they couldn’t become small farmers who have the ability to develop a one-on-one trusting relationship with their consumer. Corporate responsibility is not quality but quantity, and happy stockholders. It’s hard to know what country owns the company that produces the food we eat. The interesting manifestation is that in the past decade allergies in the adult population have increased 300 percent. That has a definite impact on big pharma profit.
Another observation is that stickers signifying certification and inspection do not prevent recalls. Farmers pay $400 to $2,000 to be certified, yet many of the recalls have those stickers on their product. Since I don’t control the water or wind that flow and blow over the surrounding land, our farm doesn’t want to participate and give consumers a false sense of security with a green sticker.
An entrepreneur in California went to all the effort to create and certify organic manure fertilizer as organic. Then he went on to sell conventional fertilizer. He made a fortune for the next seven years until he got busted. Then there are some restaurants who advertise that they serve locally sourced farm food. They buy micro-greens for their tasty salad and then “local” changes over to Sysco at that point.
On the other end of the field the food produced on a farm has the integrity of the farmer growing it. A sticker, no matter the color, does not, nor cannot affect that integrity. Getting to know your farmer and their farm is knowledge that does more for your health than reading labels and looking at stickers. Make time to keep your family healthy.