Know That You Know
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PhotoSustainable” is a term that gets used a lot in today’s society.  People are quickly waking up to the realization that it’s not really quantity of food, but quality of food that makes the bigger difference. Three hundred years ago when everyone raised the majority of their own food, the future generations, their health, and their ability to raise food on the family land was closer to the hearts of the men and women farming the land. All farms were sustainably maintained. 

Unfortunately, this is no longer the rule. In the mid-1900’s, a change began to occur and continued with snow-ball momentum. US agriculture began to industrialize, with farms becoming reliant on machines, petroleum, synthetic and fertilizers and harmfully potent chemical pesticides and herbicides. Farms became specialized and centralized, forcing farmers into a mass-production frame of mind. Mono-species farms became the national pattern because the “greater efficiency” and economy of scale became necessary in order for farms to succeed. 

Tunnamedoday, most of the chickens consumed by our country are raised indoors on hard-floored sheds with the lights left on for 23 hours a day. Even eggs from a grocery store labeled “cage free” usually come from chickens crowded into dusty, dirty chicken houses. Most “cage-free” hens live in flocks that can consist of many thousands of hens who have little to no interaction with the out-doors. Today industrial farms are using and abusing terms common to sustainable agriculture. Terms like “cage-free”, “Omega-3”, “natural”, and “free-range” don’t mean all that the terms imply. I’ve seen eggs proudly advertised as “pasteurized” . I’ve heard customers mis-read “pasteurized” as “pastured”, and vice-versa. These are NOT the same thing! The venerated term”organic” means precious little even when today’s government regulations are “met” in order to purchase the organic label. That’s right, the “Organic” label is a term that has to be “purchased” from the government. 

This false facade of industry farming must be understood and apprehended if we are to move to the future with any health for ourselves or the land that is essentially being raped by chemicals and poor management.

Joel’s advice to know where your food is actually coming from is so valuable! We need to know who is raising the things we put into our mouths to nourish our bodies! We need to know that the things we eat are being raised ethically, sustainably, and without the use of synthetics and props, holding up a crumbling system.

You are the voice of a nation. You, as a consumer, cast the vote for our tomorrow.

 

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About Hannah Hale

Hannah hails from McComb, Mississippi, where she farmed with her parents and three sisters. Home-schooled all her life, she grew up helping her grandfather on his Black Angus farm and working with her family to raise dairy goats, laying hens, and bees. Her love for animals blossomed through her involvement in 4-H and cattle showing. Hannah discovered Polyface through a lecture by Joel, and while reading his book You Can Farm, she realized that her life-long dream of farming could become a reality. The summer of 2013 saw Hannah a Polyface intern, and she was subsequently chosen to become an apprentice. Now married, Hannah helps her husband as they work as Polyface rental-farm managers. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Polyface team and learn from the best. In the future, Hannah wants to farm full-time and keep Jesus central in her life.
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6 Responses to Know That You Know

  1. farmmom says:

    This message needs to be spread far and wide. We live in the middle of a great number of “industrialized” farms. We are told constantly how inefficient our model of farming is (we use intensive grazing, chicken tractors and no chemicals in the garden). Efficient or not I know what I am feeding my family.

  2. Larry Bailey says:

    Hannah:

    We are a certified organic farm near Tacoma, Washington and we could not agree with you more. We practice nutrient dense farming with our blueberries. When compared to competitor’s “store bough”t organic blueberries, our berries test at 50% higher Brix, 80% higher for Vitamin A and C which correlates to explosive flavor as well. Speaking with another certified organic berry grower he commented we agree that the certified organic label is only a marketing thing. If we didn’t have it we couldn’t sell into wholesale markets or direct market to groceries etc. Certified organic is something we “have” to do or we cannot move our crop. Thanks for writing about this. http://www.cleanfoodfarm.com

    • Susan Linkletter says:

      If you are just getting certified organic as a marketing scheme, then you are actively undermining the integrity of the organic label. I take my organic farming seriously, it tells my customers that I care about what I am selling them and the health of my farm. It really annoys me when people want to get certified as a marketing scheme because you creating the very problem that you are complaining about. I don’t just pay my fees to my certifier, then get the right to put a sticker on my label. I have to submit a farm plan, have it approved, pass an inspection and fix any problems that come up before I can get my certification. Yeah it costs me time and money, but it does say something about my final product. It may not be a perfect system, but its better than the conventional system and Joel Salatin shouldn’t be putting it down.This does nothing for us small scale farmers who are trying our best to create a healthy product in a healthy environment.

  3. beth says:

    Organic is a bought label, for sure. I contacted a local farm to purchase hog feed. We are not yet at a place to be self sufficient in this area. I explained to him that I wanted feed that hadn’t been sprayed with chemicals in the field. I didn’t want to eat meat that had been fed GMO grains and treated with chemicals. You are what you eat… He told me I didn’t understand the process. Non GMO and organic crops were sprayed with more chemicals than his GMO fields. I said thanks anyway. I don’t understand most of it, I admit. I am trying to revive my family’s 26acre farm. They were brain washed into believing more 10-10-10 and round up were the answer. I have a long way to go. But I was amazed that this man told me he used more chemicals on organic non GMO. Thank you for all you do. You are leading the revolution!

  4. Rose says:

    Bravo!

  5. Susan Linkletter says:

    I am a certified organic farmer and I am proud of it. To me it is a philosophy, not just a labelling scheme. Shame on you for actively undermine the organic label as justification for farming conventionally. The organic on my produce DOES mean something to my customers and I am just as open about my growing methods as you are.