Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Supper Safe

I finished Making Supper Safe by Ben Hewitt today. It was an eye-opener for sure, and it solidified even more my instincts to support food sovereignty and to be less involved with the corporate food system.
His tone is very easy to follow and engaging which balances all of the rudimentary information well. There are too many quotes to post here that are salient. Some key points or statistics are as follows: The corporate food system with its increasing lack of transparency is more dangerous than any poisoning outbreak of bacteria. Americans can smoke and tote guns more easily than we can choose (or even KNOW ABOUT) the basic nourishment for our bodies. Super bugs are a bigger deal than I thought (given they can transfer genetic material with other types of organisms--not just the future generations of their own type).
The average piece of "food" travels 1,500 miles to get to our plates. 75% of the antibiotics produced are for animal consumption--not specifically to fight disease but rather to grow a greater amount of flesh and make greater profits. Monstanto possibly controls 90% of global seed genetics. The average American consumes 3,800 calories per day. The FDA/USDA makes things indefensibly difficult for smaller, artisanal businesses (particularly of the raw variety) but allows immeasurable dangers from the large corporate suppliers since the "scientists" working at our supposed regulatory agencies come straight from those multinational corporations.
Here's a good quote among many: "Thanks to agribusiness subsidies, we're actually paying many times over for the privilege of being fattened and sickened by corn. According to research conducted by the Cato Institute in 1995, every dollar of profits earned by Archer Daniels Midland's corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10 in subsidy payouts." Talk about wanting a stronger hand in where my taxes go!
Even though I admire Hewitt's family (and the Soules, Shannon Hayes' family etc.), I'm at a loss at times for how to take the right steps to go towards these ideals with my family. We do small things that we think will stick like expanding our garden, buying from friends/neighbors (pastured animals etc., food we don't grow yet), take classes to learn how to make our own things and then make them since those feel sustainable. There were times this summer especially when I was truly aware of things we didn't need to hunt for in traditional commerce.
The pastoral loveliness here comes from our garden and our friends' own growing places (that we buy from or are gifted from).

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