Sunday, March 16, 2008

Is It Just Me?

You know, I didn't set out to bash Monsanto or the other Big Ag offenders. I really just stumbled into all this because we discovered heirloom tomatoes, and a crazy farmer who supplies produce to the best restaurants in town. At least we thought he was crazy. Especially when he tells the story about the goat with the giant ... never mind. All his ramblings about fertilizers and WWII and Nazis, about government and organic certification being a crock were a bit odd, I thought.

And then I changed.

Then I got involved in the Eat Local Challenge. I was writing about food, but there were so many issues. As I looked deeper into real food, I found myself taking a hard look at some truths about the health of our food supply and our environment. I started researching issues, checking different sources. The same names kept coming up in the "bad guy" column. Over and over. My food got all tangled up in politics.

It always was, I was just to busy to care. I needed to change.

The lies, the manipulation, the unethical and the shocking. All centered on our food. Our sustenance. Our health. All with a blatant disregard for our safety and our environment. By the people that make our food and the people who make our laws.

And nothing changes.

People have died. A friend who used to work with me just had a liver transplant as a result of E. coli contamination. Two kids under the age of five, siblings in a family we know, have matching dialysis scars from a bout with E. coli. Can you imagine the weeks their parents spent at the hospital with both of their children in critical condition? I saw the look in their eyes, living in hell with a parent's worst fear. Thank God the kids made it.

And nothing changes.

Kids at school lunch have been served potentially dangerous meat — and a company that knew the meat could be dangerous and knew it would be fed to children, but opted to just make a few extra bucks, 'cause who's gonna know and hey, the other guys are doing it too, why shouldn't we? And then we, the people, DID find out, and we do know.

But nothing changes, not quickly enough, perhaps not ever.

My spouse says, when I am venting and ranting, "Where's the outrage?" Even though, he lives with me and sees me wrestle with it every day. He means in general, by "normal" people. Not me. He's right, there is not nearly enough honest, activist outrage these days. It's our food, people, it's our food.

Something must change.

Or, maybe, I'm just crazy. Or a bit tired. Or both.

This was selected for a March Just Post.


jen said...

get tired, and then keep going. there needs to be more speaking out about this. I'm taking this for the just posts next month.

Her Grace said...

I'm with Jen. I hang on your every word when you write about food. People need to know the truth, they need to understand the direction we're taking.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Thanks, both of you. I've been feeling like a conspiracy theorist lately! I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy!

MamaBird said...

You're not crazy... it's maddening how out of the mainstream GM and other food issues are. Love what you are writing, and hope that eating and cooking some local delicacies will help you maintain an even keel...

Gauntlets said...

Hi. I just found your blog and I like it.

I'm outraged. I'm really, really mad. You're absolutely right and I agree with you.

I grow more and more frustrated with every trip to the grocery store. It's just too shiny and boxed to be FOOD. Where's the SMELL of food? And how did they get those asparagus to look so good when they were born weeks ago in Iguanastan?

It's all too myth-like to last, you know? I don't want to play their cute little game anymore. My kids are at stake.

Thanks for your words. :) Make more.