Saturday, September 26, 2015

Exploration Four: Fresh from Rachel Hopper

     I have a large amount of respect for small farmers.  It is hard to be successful that way.  Growing up in the country and having farmers for neighbors really allowed me to see first hand what that line of work is like.  From what I have seen, it is not easy.   Especially with the industrializing of agriculture.  This documentary served as a wonderful way to educate people about this issue.  Most of the things that stood out to me in this documentary were the quotes.
     There were strengths and weaknesses of this film.  This was an optimistic documentary that focused more on the ability and methods to fix the problem, not whose fault the problem is or even the problem itself.  One of the weaknesses was that there were times during the interview sections where I was having trouble keeping track of who was saying what.  It was a little confusing at times.  
     In the beginning of the film, the first thing that stood out to me was the quote, "Americans only fear one thing and that is inconvenience."  I find that entirely true.  My mom for the past couple years has wanted to eat better but just hasn't been able to change her habits.  I realized that the reason we don't eat better is due to inconvenience.  Why actually make dinner when you could throw something in the oven for ten minutes? Better yet, go through the drive thru and pick up food before you go home and don't even have to prepare it.  That is the day in age that we live in. And that is why most people that want to eat better don't. 
    There was one theme throughout the documentary which was: respecting the design of nature.  One big example of this is monocultures.  A monoculture is the same species growing together in isolation.  This is how livestock farming is industrialized.  This goes against nature and its design.  Livestock farms become livestock factories and then a very serious sanitation problem develops and the livestock contract diseases. This can create mutated diseases from all of the antibiotics and vaccinations that the livestock receive in their lifetime that can also be dangerous for humans. One of the sustainable farmers said that the diseases were nature's way of saying enough.  I think that is absolutely right.  If you think about it, what is our body's way of saying enough? Pain.  Nature always has a way to tell us if something is wrong.
    One last thing that stood out to me was the idea that there is no such thing as cheap food.  Fresh food is not cheap.  Fresh food does cost more, but it is worth more.  The point was also made that if you are not paying for food at the grocery store, you pay for it somewhere else. The environment pays for it or your health could suffer the consequences.  And if all you want to pay for is cheap food, well you get what you pay for.  
    They said that studies pointed toward medium-sized organic farms are ideal.  This all makes perfect sense.  If farmers went organic, they would be making less work for themselves in the long run.  Using manure from their healthy livestock will help their crops, instead of using chemical fertilizers.  Not using the fertilizers would eliminate operating costs.  In return, the crops would be healthy and free of fertilizers and pesticides.  These crops are either the product or used to feed the livestock.  Having the livestock eat this way and not raising them in a monoculture will save money by not having to spend on vaccines and antibiotics. Not to mention, this does not contribute to pollution at all. Doing things this way will help immensely in the long run.  Medium-sized organic farms are ideal.


1 comment:

  1. Rachel, the story of your Mom here is powerful evidence, and I think we can all relate to it. We want to change our habits, but when the fast food or processed food is right at hand, we almost always will take the easier way! It's just human nature. For myself, I have to, on purpose, limit my choices. I simply don't buy the product so I am not tempted by having it in my house. That's right, Rachel: there is usually NO ice cream in my freezer! It takes a lot of self-discipline to eat well and I really think it's a process to develop that. I'm working on it and I think it helps to have others in the same fight. We are swimming in a culture of convenience and we have to realize that.


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