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Know your farmer, know your food

A collaborative effort to build more locally based and self-reliant food economies.

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Who's the boss?

  • Jan 31, 2011
  • by

Yes I regularly watched the show, only because I thought Alyssa Milano was hot.

  Exhibit A:

I was a teenager then. My English was getting better and I was learning to become American. My relationship with my parents deteriorated since they have remained very much Chinese. To them, there is no question who should be the boss. But to me and my adolescence, who’s the boss was manifested through my emotional outbursts, my choice to move out of the house (which was against the cultural norm in Chinese families at the time), my refusal to enter medical school, and my eventual enlistment in the Army without notice to my parents.

I have since learned that the spirit of rebellion is a natural human instinct – one that gave us the marvels of social and scientific progress. Confucius may have been right that strict social structure and compulsive education was essential to creating a successful kingdom, but a system of absolute social obedience against our human nature to rebel gave China its war-torn history and a deep and instinctive distrust for the government.

Recently I’ve noticed the spirit of rebellion in America is emerging into the mainstream culture.Thankfully we do not have the tradition of squashing the dissenters. As Americans, we can enjoy civil disobedience for the sake of social progress.

Exhibit B:

For many decades we gave and trusted our daily necessities to the federal government and corporations for management. Our commerce became nationalized, our statehood less prominent. We watched our private lives gradually regulated by the establishment of FCC, FDA, FHA, FAA, F-[insert your fundamental rights here], and we said nothing. But in the recent years, especially when election times came around, I hear sentiments of anti-regulation and anti-big government. I see a revival of state empowerment, an expansion of our awareness of the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of rebellion in a society. The American people are entitled, by our Constitution, to question authority and govern ourselves in our private lives. We are not alone: the French students had their day in the spotlight recently showing their willingness to voice their opinions. Tunisia and Egypt owns the brag-right currently.But there is a mighty hidden movement, a sort of social rebellion if you will, that is much more profound and momentous, happening here in the US and elsewhere in the world: we are rebelling against the FOOD INDUSTRY – the new world emperor clothed in corn and soy, jeweled by CAFOs and knighted by the WTO.

When Jose Bove, a French antiglobalization activist (and Roquefort farmer), wanted to make his stand against globalization, he drove his tractor through the plate glass not of a bank or insurance company, but a McDonald’s.

. . . the most powerful protests against globalization to date have all revolved around food. . . the movement against genetically modified crops, the campaign against patented seeds in India. . . [and] the Italian-born international movement that seeks to defend traditional food cultures against the global tide of homogenization.
The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan

I submit to you, Exhibit C: 2011 Will Be Year of the Local According to Nation's Chefs

The Soviet Union collapsed because its centralized food system could not satisfy their people’s need. If history is to repeat itself, and most frequently it does, we see a warning to the food industry:

if our current centralized food industry and federal and state government agencies, wholly depended on just a few crop species, CAFOs, and fossil fuels, do not change their operations and policies to build a more sustainable, health, and local food model to improve quality and address our health problems, 

we, the people, will have to exercise the power vest in us by the Constitution and collapse this industrial food dependency ourselves. 

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More Local Food reviews
review by . May 27, 2010
posted in Gourmand
There is something to be said for being able to trace where your food comes from and know it is well taken care of before it gets to your kitchen.  The health benefits of eating food that comes from a farm and not a processor are exponential.  Knowing your farmer and your food is an ode to eating local and staying healthy.
Quick Tip by . November 04, 2010
posted in Gourmand
Just went to Berkeley's Farmers Market yesterday (sorry @devora!) with a chef friend of mine that was visiting and wanted to cook for us....in a few words, I was in heaven. Unlike other Farmer's Markets with just a few stands with everyone carrying the same thing and some craft and food vendors, Berkeley is truly a Farmer's Market. I bought some amazing bread, Quark, tomatoes, and the herbs are to die for! Affordable and fresh food while supporting local farms? WIN! A big plus, each vendor seemed …
Quick Tip by . May 27, 2010
posted in Gourmand
Eating local is not only great for your local community & economy, but also great for you!
About the reviewer
Jin Kong ()
Ranked #697
I was born in Lanzhou, a city of the Silk Road. Moved to Beijing at age 5, then to Cincinnati at age 11. I studied philosophy in college and graduate school. Lost in the academic nonsense I enlisted in … more
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Local food (also regional food or food patriotism) or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place" and is considered to be a part of the broader sustainability movement. It is part of the concept of local purchasing and local economies, a preference to buy locally produced goods and services. Those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food sometimes call themselves locavores or localvores.
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