Something We Can All Agree On

The food movement stretches across the political, religious and socio-economic divides in our society.  We have customers and farm supporters who are far to the political right, far to the political left, and everywhere in between.  Our customers are poor and well-to-do, religious and not religious.  They are white and not-white.  They are a fairly representative sample of our community.

In a time when so many things seem to deeply and bitterly divide us, the food movement can be a unifier.

Some folks become supporters of the food movement for health reasons.  Many are looking to purge their diets of chemicals based on doctors’ advice, or to help fight or avoid disease.  Some are drawn to it for ethical, spiritual or religious reasons, such as a desire to care for creation or a concern for the ethical treatment of farm animals.  Some folks just want food that tastes like the food they ate at their grandparents’ house when they were children.  The motivations of the new farmers, homesteaders, backyard and urban gardeners are similarly varied it seems to me.

Underneath this food-movement umbrella there is a diverse and growing group of people who appreciate the significance and importance of good ethically-produced food.  They defy the divisive labels that are so prevalent these days.

I think that’s one of the best things about it, and a cause for continued optimism.

 

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20 comments on “Something We Can All Agree On

  1. may the good news of real food inch its way across the land

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  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, there does seem to be a growing movement across the country concerning food. It does draw folks together, well, because everyone has to eat. As for me, I don’t really have an agenda about food. I just like growing vegetables and berries. I do like the taste of the naturally grown produce but I’m definitely not an extremist or plan to grow all my own food. I’m sure I eat my share of GMO stuff but have been trying to move away from that type of food. I do have strong opinions about the food system in general and am more concerned about how the food is transported thousands of miles to reach my plate. That is a disaster waiting to happen. I’m becoming more and more aware of folks that are interested in growing vegetables on vacant lots.

    I mentioned a while back about meeting with the city health department. I did meet with a nice young man and he was very interested in the process I went through to get foreclosed properties and what made me want to do that. Apparently, the city is interested in having people take care of empty lots and is very supportive of city owned community vacant lot vegetable gardens. That’s encouraging to me.

    Have a great something we all can agree on day.

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    • shoreacres says:

      I’m really glad to hear that, Dave. I was wondering how your meeting(s) went. I hope the city becomes even more supportive.

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    • Bill says:

      That’s very encouraging Dave. I was afraid they were going to try to shut you down. The fact that they aren’t is even more evidence of the growing movement. Whether you realize it or not, you are a leader in the movement. 🙂

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  3. shoreacres says:

    You’re right about the increasing awareness of the need for good food, and the problems associated with industrial agriculture. And all I need to do is look at the crowd at the farmers’ market I go to, to see the truth of your assertion that food’s become a mighty big umbrella. The variety of people who show up is amazing: everything from the yoga mat crowd to the bikers in their leather and chains.

    I do wish some people weren’t quite so zealous or judgmental, but that’s just me. To paraphrase the good Dr. Freud, sometimes a cheeseburger is just a cheeseburger, and not a sign of moral depravity. 😉

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    • Bill says:

      Our little piece of America has more fast food joints per capita than any other part of the country. We also have twice as much diabetes and obesity. And our farmers market was jammed with people on Saturday. Vendors overflowed out into the parking lot and people had trouble finding a place to park. After having our best days ever for our midweek deliveries, we had our best Saturday ever. Granted that is in part because tomatoes are coming in, but it also reflects a growing appreciation for good food that is very encouraging!

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  4. ain't for city gals says:

    I agree. I had a little talk with one of the people I buy a lot of from at the farmers market this Sat. They always want to give me a good deal…charge me less. Though I certainly appreciate the thought I won’t let them do it. I tell them “This food is worth every penny what you are charging. From $50 worth of wonderful tasting vegetables I can make 3 or 4 gourmet tasting dinners for my husband and I….that I would pay a fortune for in a natural food type restaurant.” I just want them (and you) to know what a service you are doing for people.

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    • Bill says:

      Bless you for that. When we first starting doing this we realized that lots of people who came to the farmers market were looking to find cheap food–cheaper than grocery store prices. Now we rarely get anyone who berates us for our prices or tries to get us to lower them. People are realizing that you get what you pay for. It’s feels especially good to have our efforts appreciated. We have lots of people now thanking us for giving them the opportunity to buy good food. That’s a very good feeling.

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  5. shoreacres says:

    I forgot to drop this link link for you. I’m not sure where Ruth is, exactly – New Mexico, I’d say. But in any event, it was fun to see organic farmers in her daily list of things she’s thankful for.

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks for sharing that. It brought out a smile. We’ve had lots of people take the time to thank us for the food we grow. I’m guessing that doesn’t happen at the grocery store.

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  6. One thing, I’ve noticed as well, is the increasing number of community gardens, providing lots of urban folks with their own plot of land. –Curt

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  7. EllaDee says:

    And the “diverse and growing group of people who appreciate the significance and importance of good ethically-produced food” would like to stick the pointy end of the food-movement umbrella to those who see food as just another means to profit and power. Rebels armed with re-useable shopping bags 🙂

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  8. jubilare says:

    There is a “push back,” sadly, but yes, you are right.

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    • Bill says:

      No idea, no matter how sensible or good, will attract everybody. But I find what I’m seeing to be very encouraging.

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      • jubilare says:

        It is encouraging. My brother tells me, though, that he mentioned organic foods as an example of a good thing to his students, and they almost universally attacked the idea. Hopefully they will learn better.

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