I have read about 75 percent of "The Omnivore's Dilemma", and I may never eat again.
I'm utterly disheartened at the idea that "organic" food just means that chemical ferterlizer wasn't used, and that "organic" chickens still grew up in really shitty homes. As did "organic" pigs, and lordy "organic" milk makes me want to throw up in my mouth. I'm so torn.
Michael Pollen discusses the implications of organic v. industrial v. organic industrial v. local food production, and it really seems that the most conscionable food choice is local - farmers market or community sponsored agriculture (CSA). Industrial organic uses the same overblown, oil-driven system to produce food on a massive scale as does regular industrial food, but it does have the perk of keeping fertilizer runoff from damaging our water supply and our oceans. (See my earlier post giving the LA Times a shout-out for its brilliant work on pollution of the oceans which won the Pulitzer this year.)
In addition to finding the organic food market disappointing, I was more disgusted by the industrial food chain than I thought I'd be when I set out. The prolific movement of corn in our food chain - from overproduced commodity pillaging what could be productive farmland that feeds teh nation - to cattle fed with corn and pumped with antibiotics because COWS CAN'T EAT CORN. God what are we doing to ourselves and the animals we depend on for food?
It's almost too much to think about.
So, this is going to be a project you hear about frequently: Jen's Food Movement. I will try to eat as locally as I can. When I can't, I will buy the most environmentally and animal-friendly food I can. I will try to buy organic produce, because at least it wasn't grown in a chemical bath becasue the land had no nutrients left after over-farming.
One thing that gives me hope, aside from the brilliance of Joel Salatin's complex Polyface Farm, where chickens get to be chickens and pigs get to be pigs, is that even CNN and the Senator from Iowa realize that corn is doing us in.
If we are what we eat, Americans are corn and soy.
The USDA recommends we get 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
If this country were to suddenly give up its Coke and McDonalds for fruits and vegetables WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH.
Chew on that.