Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Land: They Aren't Making More Of It

I watched this short documentary today and found it fascinating and troubling. It deals with the problem of farmland and the aging ranks of American farmers.

This looming problem should concern all of us, even those who think "home cooked meals" means preheating the over. The precarious nature of our food supply is all around us. Just look at the shefl clearing near riots at Wal-Mart stores in Louisiana thanks to the EBT card glitch that allowed food stamp recipients to spend without limit. As another webpage noted most stores have only three days worth of merchandise and when it is out it is out. Meanwhile our farmland, one of our most precious and unique resources (more valuable really than all of the oil in the Middle East), is held by s smaller number of ever larger farming businesses and a lot of the owners are getting pretty old.

Food is such a basic necessity but we take it for granted and give little thought to how that unimaginable cornucopia of calories is so readily available to the American consumer, quantities and varieties so vast and so cheap that we pay a premium to make consumption as convenient and fast as possible (a necessity driven by two wage earner families that don't have time to prepare meals, a tragic irony as we work more to pay for things we wouldn't need if both spouses didn't work outside of the home).

I hope we as a people start to think about this and stop the incentives which run small farmers out of business and reward massive ag enterprises. Having a thriving agricultural community in America is good for our nation in so many ways and having empty towns dotting the Midwest while our food is more and more homogenized and concentrated is bad for our nation in just as many ways.

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