Real Food, Real People, Real Americans: In Praise of Organic Farmers
Some folks would definitely categorize me as a food snob. I guess this is because I prefer my food grown in soil untainted with chemical fertilizers produced by the same good folks who brought us Agent Orange, Napalm and the Deep Water Horizon Spill. Snob.
And I like the idea of my beef coming from a cow who hung around outside munching grass and breathing fresh air rather than living in a fetid indoor warehouse where it was “finished” on a slurry of GMO grains, laced with copious amounts of antibiotics to prevent it’s delicate ungulate digestive system from blowing up and killing it before it could reach marketable weight. I KNOW. I’m such a freaking snob!
And yes, I know how elitist I am, supporting hippies living in humble homes on farms they tend with their own hands rather than throwing in with the multi-nationals, the pillars of American Farm Industrialization, like Syngenta, DOW, Monsanto and Koch Industries. Why, I’m positively Un-American, I tell ya. I wallow in snobbiness.
But I just can’t help myself. I like hippies. I like how organic farmers have to scrupulously practice their farming and fulfill rigorous Organic Certification requirements in order to sell me the certified organic foods I choose to eat. I like how when I buy from the farmer’s market, I am putting my cash right in the farmer’s hands. I like how they never bitch and moan and complain to me about the shit they go through to fulfill the Government’s requirements for their industry–not a one has ever even suggested that the Government get off their backs and stop making them do onerous stuff like not pollute the air, water and ground around their farms. OMG they must be such sheep!
Or perhaps they just work too damned hard to spend time sitting around a cafe bitching about the Government, the EPA…and FDA, which can make a small organic farmer’s life pretty hard, let me tell you. And I know some of them barely make enough to survive. And certainly not enough to ever send the kids to college. But they seem to be missing the sense of entitlement I remember feeling from some of the big ranchers I rubbed shoulders with in the back waters of the rural West. And I know for a fact they work just as hard as those cowboys. Oddly enough, the most upbeat positive rancher I knew there raised organic beef cattle. I think that says something.
And here is the thing–what they have chosen to do isn’t a business decision. I feel a sense of purpose from the folks I know who are growing this food. I feel a deep and real commitment to doing the right thing from them. I feel a grounded-ness when I interact with them. I even know one lady who works her farm with draft-horses. She is awesome. She is committed. She is the salt of the freaking earth. And man is she buff.
Talk about core American values. These people are the epitome of hard-working, down to earth, back to basics Americans. These, to me, are the real Americans. Not the gun slinging, anti-government ranting, I want my country back and by the way give us back the land you stole from the Injuns real Americans Sarah Palin gets the hots for.
These are the quiet Americans. These are the meek who just might inherit the earth. Or save it. And I will cast my lot with them whenever possible, because these are my Americans. And what they are doing is pretty freaking radical.
©2017 by Ilona Elliott