FROM DIRT TO DINNER PLATE Part 3
Local is the new Organic
“The only way to get food we can trust is to buy our food from farmers we trust.
The only dependable source of healthy food is local food.”
John E. Ikerd, PhD, Univ. MO Columbia, sustainability advocate, author
HOPEFUL SIGNS FOR CLEANER FOOD
Organics now account for more than 10% of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States. Organic, local, natural, and similarly labeled products probably make up only 7% to 10% of all foods sold today. However, various food industry studies indicate approximately one third of American consumers are willing to pay premium prices for healthful and nutritious foods that have ecological, social, and economic integrity.
Even so, a larger percentage of Americans are hungry today than were hungry during the 1960s, before the industrialization of agriculture that was touted as the solution for world hunger. The latest USDA statistics, for 2010, places total “food insecurity” at 15% with more than 20% of American children living in food insecure homes. Without generous government programs, such as SNAP (food stamps), these hunger statistics would be much higher. The economic industrialization of agriculture has been a dismal failure that is becoming a desperate dead end. It succeeded in making food cheap – deceptively devalued with expectation of quick and easy availability.
Americans spend less than 10% of their disposable incomes on food, less than in any other nation.
Each American farmer feeds 50-150 people, depending on who is counted as farmers. The “success story” of American agriculture is a mirage created with the billions of dollars paid to a few that have for decades manipulated harvests towards mono-cropping for animal food and bio-fuels.
The Truth: The U.S. cheap food strategy of the past 50-years has failed dismally, not only in terms of its high ecological and social costs, but even in its most fundamental mission of providing national food security. Understand that the sustainable agriculture movement is but one aspect of the larger sustainable development movement. Both reflect a commitment to meeting the needs of the present without diminishing opportunities for the future. The industrial food system makes all world problems far worse.
Wholeshare Online Food, clean, fair, affordable.