Occupy Your Plate
I am so proud of the Occupy Movement! I hope people are getting wise to the contempt Corporate America has for the rest of us. I’m not just referring to the banking industry, either. Corporate goes for all kinds of industry: electronics, textiles, food, energy, etc.., lots of businesses where their primary focus is to make money. Not to serve a community need, to make money. Not to provide a quality product at a good value to the consumer, to make money.
I’ll try to keep this rant to food.
I’ve been preaching about the local foods movement and local business in general, not because it is cool but because it trumps the corporate counterparts by the presence of COMPASSION and that their bottom line isn’t the only line they care about. Have you caught any of the articles tattling on the sometimes disgusting antics of Big Ag and Big Food? Did you hear about the company that re-processed gallons of moldy applesauce to ship to schools? Or the countless recalls of E. Coli-tainted meats and vegetables that somehow still manage to get to the public? Maybe you’ve seen these corporate food lies: your “freshly” squeezed orange juice that has actually sat in a vat for up to a year, your meats that get doused with ammonia , the cellulose and other industrial by-products that find their way into more processed food than you would like to know about. Why isn’t this squawked about on mainstream news?
“So what can I do about this and why should I care?” you might say. “Eating healthy / organic / local is too expensive and I don’t have the time / desire / know-how to cook.”
My shopping reflects my values and I vote with my pocketbook. Start small and don’t try to re-invent the wheel in a week. I would rather spend an hour cooking something for my family than watching TV, but that’s me.
Don’t like factory farms? Seek out a local market and shop there. Spending money with local retailers strengthens the community and is a slap in the face of recession. Start a vegetable garden, and share your bounty with your neighbors – defy the “bedroom community” label and chat in person. Know that if we don’t start giving a damn about what we purchase, and where it comes from – that the quality of these things will continue to tank. The rich will get richer from our apathy. Our economy is based almost entirely on us buying stuff, so make every dollar count!
This video of a farmer addressing the NYC Occupy group nearly got me bawling. I can’t help but feel sickened and a little enraged every time I hear a sound bite about how unorganized the movement is, or the “But what do they stand for?” bullshit. The food lies are as insidious as the lies about “trickle-down economics” – don’t believe the hype. There has been a great interview with Chris Hedges making the rounds that I think hits the mark, and I will leave you with this quote from his book, Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America:
“We watch impassively as the wealthy and the elite, the huge corporations, rob us, ruin the environment, defraud consumers and taxpayers and create an exclusive American oligarchy that fuses wealth and political power. We watch passively because we believe we can enter the club. It is greed that inspires us. It is greed that keeps us silent. Our greed is devouring us.”
PS – If you are in the Cincy area, and are interested in getting that garden going, join me for my class series coming up in a few weeks.