This week I am spending several days in San Antonio, attending a conference with a number of people for whom I have great respect. This conference deals with the legislative impact of government on small farms and local food systems, and how to be a positive advocate for change.
According to Dr. John Ikerd, the only real food security consists of the productivity of our farmland and the commitment of our farmers. His comments were eye-opening to me.
Having the government tell us that as a nation we produce enough food doesn’t mean that food will end up on our plate at the end of the day. The main thrust of his discussion, which included a history of the leveraging of power by the meat packing industry in dealing with small farmers, was that as local – no, REAL – food advocates, we need to TELL THE TRUTH.
Tell the truth to taxpayers and consumers, so they know how corporate interests are shaping food policy in this country. Tell the truth about the safety of food from all over the country that passes through one of only four processing plants before it reaches your grocery store. Tell truth about the dangers of a centralized food supply – and how a decentralized supply where small family farms are the lynchpin can have a powerful economic impact on our small towns and rural counties, as well as provide us with safe, available food.
I am resolving to tell the truth.