Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Corn-Free Re-Cap and Concluding Thoughts

Well, here we are. The day I was starting to think would never come. July 31st. All in all, year two has been a great success. I want to sincerely thank everyone for participating on whatever level you did, even if it was only reading along. For a starting blogger, every single time the site is viewed, it's a joy.

Some things I'm looking forward to starting tomorrow are spending under six dollars on a jar of tomato sauce, saying yes to offers of snacks, and of course saying goodbye to that accompanying feeling of being the party pooper with the diet restrictions. Allergy sufferers, I don't know how you do it.

But it wasn't as hard as it could have been. Or would have been even a few years ago. The world we live in is becoming more conscious of the importance of whole foods. Farmers markets, CSAs, and health food stores are more numerous every year, and more and more mainstream grocery stores are featuring organic and natural food sections.

The demand is there, and it will only grow as we start to see the negative effects of industrial agriculture more and more directly.

The only question left is whether sustainable food is really sustainable. There are some noisy objectors to the war on industrial agriculture, and they make some valid points, most notably about the space and time it would take to grow organically on a larger scale.

It's going to take a shift in priorities if it's going to work. I think we can all agree at the point that if we want to live in a world without factory farms, we're going to have to eat less meat, period. There simply isn't the grazing space for the 27 million head of beef cattle raised in the United States every year.

Another thing standing in the way, of course, is our dependence on convenience foods, and the lifestyle that drives it. If tomorrow, fast food restaurants (yes, that includes you, Starbucks) and microwave dinners disappeared, it would force a slow-down. We couldn't be running around from one errand to the next all the time. Eventually, we'd have to go home and cook something. I shudder to think about the ripple effects such a thing could have on our entire national identity.

What else would have to change in order for a healthier, more sustainable food system to really take hold? Do you think it can work? And if so, what are you doing to see that we get there?

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