Discover more from Mindset Shifts—Essays by Barry Brownstein
Local Farmers Support Your Health and are a Defense Against Tyranny
58% of the nations' calories are coming from ultra-processed foods.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention. Customers in America’s drugstore chains face “long lines of disgruntled customers. Harried pharmacists shuffling back and forth to counsel patients and answer phones. Household toiletries locked behind theft-proof cases.” The latter problem is due to the decriminalization of theft in blue cities.
The prescription problem began when chains such as CVS and Walgreens saw a taxpayer-funded goldmine and “took in big profits in the pandemic thanks to generous reimbursement for administering millions of Covid-19 vaccinations.” The chains’ focus on administering vaccines led to overworked staff and dangerous errors in fulfilled prescriptions.
It is best to do all you can to stay out of pharmacies. One step you can take to avoid taking drugs is to eat more fresh produce. A mainstay of any healthy diet is unprocessed food.
Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.—Wendell Berry
The weather has been mild this fall in New Hampshire. Our local farm stand still offers a bounty of fresh food. This past weekend, we bought lettuce, kale, napa cabbage, winter squash, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, and colored peppers. Greens are picked the same day, and all the veggies are unsprayed. Our sale receipt shows we bought over 30 pounds of produce, plus two bunches of kale and four heads of lettuce, for just over $50. I mention the price because premium local food often costs less.
Even if you don’t live in a rural area, you probably have access to one or more farmers’ markets.
Our family will be both sorry and grateful when, in a few weeks, we go back to supermarkets to buy two-week-old produce from California. Sorry for the drop in quality, but still thankful to have a fantastic cornucopia available in the winter months.
An honest environmentalist buys locally-produced food whenever possible. You and farm workers are not exposed to toxic sprays, and for every pound of produce produced locally, that is a pound not crossing the country in a truck. An honest environmentalist does not drive subsidized Teslas while demanding offshore wind farms.
Urban conservationists may feel entitled to be unconcerned about food production because they are not farmers. But they can't be let off so easily, for they are all farming by proxy.—Wendell Berry
We feel affection for our local farmers. We have known them for decades; we admire their stoicism but feel their distress when the weather doesn’t cooperate. If you are concerned about food security, support your local farmers.
An economy genuinely local and neighborly offers to localities a measure of security that they cannot derive from a national or a global economy controlled by people who, by principle, have no local commitment.—Wendell Berry
John Klar, in his book Small-Farm Republic, writes,
The family farm is the foundation of soil stewardship as well as community, and that merits saving.
A local food supply is also the best defense against tyranny. That was as true for the American colonists against the British Crown as it is for today’s patriots. And once again, it’s a win-win. Trustworthy government should encourage self-reliance and food security for its populace, not compel servitude to corporate hegemony.
Consider that 58% of our calories come from ultra-processed food. Such foods are “made mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, added sugars, and hydrogenated fats. They may also contain additives like artificial colors and flavors or stabilizers. Examples of these foods are frozen meals, soft drinks, hot dogs and cold cuts, fast food, packaged cookies, cakes, and salty snacks.” Not to mention fake meats and cheeses.
You may say no way to Bill Gates’ plans for lab-grown food, but if you are eating ultra-processed foods now, can you blame Gates for believing there is a market for his schemes? Our decisions today will make Gates’ tyranny impossible tomorrow. Support your local farmer.
Eliminating or reducing ultra-processed food will significantly reduce your intake of sugar as well as refined vegetable oils such as soy and canola. Weight reduction will be the result, as well as a reduced risk for disease.
Admittedly, no matter how many fresh vegetables you eat, illness may strike. But is that an excuse for not stacking the odds in your favor?
A sick, weak people crippled emotionally and physically have no idea how to regain their health. They choose to be victimized by medical tyrants. Medical tyranny is the entry drug to a full-blown totalitarianism.
Some people think of ultra-processed foods as convenient. Are they convenient if the time saved cooking and shopping is spent sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and standing in line at a pharmacy? Are they convenient if you have lost your freedom?
Processed foods may seem like comfort foods, but you will be amazed at how quickly your taste buds adjust and crave real food once you pivot that way. The more real food you eat, the better you feel physically and emotionally, the more you want to eat real food. This virtuous cycle will help maintain our freedom.
We cannot know the whole truth, which belongs to God alone, but our task nevertheless is to seek to know what is true. And if we offend gravely enough against what we know to be true, as by failing badly enough to deal affectionately and responsibly with our land and our neighbors, truth will retaliate with ugliness, poverty, and disease.—Wendell Berry
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