Sustainable farming activist Joel Salatin and author of Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal returns this week to talk about the importance of a basic human right: to choose what to eat.
In past podcasts, he’s described the challenges facing farmers who want to grow organically. This week, he sheds light on the additional challenges consumers face in getting access to quality produce and meats.
The bottom line is our industrial system (or, as Joel puts it, the “fraternity”) seeks to protect itself and its existing revenue streams. Research is commissioned to discredit the claimed benefits of organic farming. FDA nutrition guidelines favor the mono-crops grown by factory farms, despite mounting evidence these guidelines are not in the public health’s interest. Pesticides and herbicides are used in ever-greater amounts. Distribution infrastructure doesn’t enable small-scale delivery trucks (which most organic farms use) to plug into it. For those not living in an area concentrated with small farms, being able to identify and purchase healthy food options is difficult.
Joel recommends we elevate “food freedom” to the same status as we demand for other core personal liberties like public safety and legal equality:
We need to celebrate and energize the public to defend the freedom to acquire the food of our choice from the source of our choice. This whole orthodoxy thing we’ve been talking about is militating right now against being able to choose for ourselves the kind of fuel we want for our own bodies. I look at this whole food freedom effort as rectifying something that was missed in the Bill of Rights. We’ve got the right to own a gun, the right to assemble, the right to worship, the right to speak, the right to be secure in our persons without a search warrant. There are all sorts of wonderful rights. But we did not get the right to choose our food.
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