The thing that I’m most thankful for on Turkey Day is not the abundance of food at my family’s table, but the rebels who produced it.

No, not Butterball. And not Wal-Mart, General Foods or any of the other corporate powers that loom large over America’s food economy. To the contrary, I’m thankful for the “good food movement” that has arisen all across our country in rebellion against those powers.

It’s a burgeoning movement of small farmers, consumers, food artisans, local marketers, restaurateurs, community groups and many others (maybe you) who are steadily creating a viable grass-roots alternative to corporatized, industrialized, globalized food. In the process, these folks are sowing the productive ideas of sustainability, organic, local economies and the Common Good, nurturing them as core values for a new food system.

The origins of the movement are in what I call the Upchuck Rebellion — a steadily spreading revulsion during the past 30 years or so at the damage being done to people, to our land and water, and to food itself by the food industry’s singular focus on ever-larger profit for itself. Folks began to say, “There’s got to be a better way,” and then they’d set out to do what they could to create it.

Of course, the Powers That Be snickered and sneered, insisting that the corporate way is the only way, that it’s futile to try defying the established order. But as one of the enterprising pioneers in the organic business puts it, “Those who say it can’t be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

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