Local Food System as “Opting Out”

I just found out a few days ago that today is the Occupy Our Food Supply Day.

Occupy Our Food Supply is bringing together the Occupy, sustainable farming, food justice, buy local, slow food, and environmental movements for a global day of action on February 27, 2012. Inspired by the theme of CREATE/RESIST, thousands will come together to creatively confront corporate control of our food supply and take action to build healthy, accessible food systems for all.

Industrial agribusiness corporations like Cargill, Monsanto, ADM and Dupont have gained runaway control of our food systems and to take them back, we’ll need all the collective power we can manifest around the world. There are few things more personal than the food we put into our bodies every day. Let’s ensure that we can stand by the food we eat from farm to fork. Sign up to take action on February 27 to Occupy Our Food Supply!

Now I think what these celebrities are trying to accomplish is worthy, I do. But how much influence do these celebrities have on our real lives? Another way to “Occupy Our Food Supply” is not to challenge these corporations. They don’t care about our small voices. We don’t need to involve the federal government. Everything the federal government touches becomes hopelessly bureaucratic and mired in endless regulations and deals. We don’t need to organize protests or even “Days of Action”.

We only need to opt out.

Opting out is the ultimate expression of our freedom. Opting out is removing your money from a system you no longer support. We can opt out in small ways or large ones, but every small withdrawal from the corporate food system makes a difference. There is no fight. There is only discovery and opportunity.

You don’t like supporting mega-corporate food systems? Then don’t give them your money. Withdraw your support. Don’t buy from companies owned by Cargill, Monsanto, ADM. Buy as much of your food as possible from farmers markets, directly from the farmers. Join a CSA. Try not to complain about the prices. Cook from scratch. Join a cow pool. Garden.

Don’t like how fast food companies market to children? Don’t eat there. Don’t take your children there. Turn off the TV or have intelligent discussions with your children about marketing ploys. Make them aware that they are being marketed to, and how.

Want something more than American “thow-away consumerism”? Try to buy items made in America. Pay attention to the local environment. Try to buy handmade from craftsmen in all parts of your life. Buy smaller amounts of the best you can afford. Shop at locally-owned stores as much as possible. Participate in local government, where changes can be really felt.

Opting out is how we start moving back to a craft-based economy. Opting out is how we start building sustainable jobs
here in America. Opting out is how we start valuing the real over the hollow. Opting out is the way towards grass-roots change that preserves our freedom of choice.

I don’t like the shrill voices that say “Everyone should do this! This is right! Let’s legislate to remove choices!” I can not speak for what everyone else should do. I only know what is right for me and my family. We can’t “Occupy Our Food Supply” for only one day. I try to do it every day. That’s what this blog is about.

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