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In this season of feasting, let's celebrate agriCULTURE
Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist and former farm boy, says: "The central problem with modern industrial agriculture... [is] not just that it produces unhealthy food, mishandles waste, and overuses antibiotics in ways that harm us all. More fundamentally, it has no soul."
This is the driving ethic of the "good food movement." It rebuts the insistence that agriculture is nothing but a business. It certainly is a business, but it's a good business – literally producing goodness – because it's "a way of life" for hardworking people who practice the art and science of cooperating with Mother Nature, rather than always trying to overwhelm her. Small-scale farmers don't want to be massive or make a killing; they want to farm and make delicious, healthy food products that help enrich the whole community.
This spirit was summed up in one word by Lee Jones, a sustainable farmer who was asked what he'd be if he wasn't a farmer. He replied: "Disappointed." To farmers like these, food embodies our full "culture" – a word that is sculpted right into "agriculture" and is essential to its organic meaning.
Although agriculture is now flourishing throughout the land and has forestalled the total takeover of our food by crass agribusiness, the corporate powers and their political hirelings continue to press for the elimination of the food rebels and ultimately to impose their vision of complete corporatization.
This is one of the most important populist struggles occurring in our society. It's literally a fight for control of our dinner, and it certainly deserves a major focus as we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this year.
To find small-scale farmers, artisans, farmers markets, and other resources in your area for everything from organic tomatoes, to pastured turkey, visit www.LocalHarvest.org.