Monday, November 1, 2010

Choices: Guest Blogger - James

I'll be writing about my business trip to Denver soon. In the meantime - here's a different way to look at the world from my friend James. 

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Choices


Danie asked me to write a guest post and so I will do my best to share a bit of what I do and its relevance to her blog. I met Danie at Providence College where I harassed, teased, and generally just gave her a hard time. 

After leaving PC, I spent two years in the Peace Corps where I lived and worked in a small village in rural Tanzania teaching sustainable agriculture and environmental education. I currently own and operate Beyond Organics Farm in Winslow, AR where we raise fully pastured organic chicken, eggs, goat meat and milk, and over 30 types of vegetables.
 
When thinking of all the different topics I could write about in relation to veganism, locavorism, organic versus conventional, sustainable agriculture, and many more assorted topics, I chose to try and keep it broad and in relation to all of our lives. 

And so, I came up with my topic. CHOICES.

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We all have choices to make, especially when it comes to food. Danie doesn't eat animals or their byproducts. I just don't eat animals. My wife won't eat animals that she hasn't seen alive with her own two eyes. Each of these examples shows that these three individuals have chosen to make a conscious decision as to what they put in their bodies. I am going to try my best not to preach or impose my very biased opinion, but if there is one thing I will ask of everyone who reads this. Make a conscious choice. I don't care if its veal or kale, hamburgers or seitan. Make that choice with an informed brain and a hungry tummy.
 
We live in a world and a culture that feeds us shit. Yes, I said shit. I said it because most of what people in our country eat today can no longer be considered food. 

We put things in our mouths that are laden with cancer causing chemicals. Our portions are three times larger than what our ancestors just two generations ago had on their plate. The childhood obesity rate in America is drastically higher than any comparable country on the planet. We destroy our bodies, our communities, and our environment with every handful of french fries we stuff down our throat. Fortunately, there are small groups of people and places providing us with different choices.


The Garden

Looking for one in your neck of the woods? 

Check out www.localharvest.org This database can tell you who grows the best red russian kale in your county or where you can find that elusive hand crafted organic goat cheese. Or check out www.getrealmaine.com to find out about a local farmers market near you. 

More than anything, ask questions. What is corn sugar??? (see high fructose corn syrup) Read your labels....if you can't pronounce it, should you really be putting it in your body? Some call people that ask these questions and make these conscious choices food snobs, yuppies, hipsters, hippies.....I call them informed consumers. 

Election day is not this Tuesday. OK, maybe it is this Tuesday but that's not my point. My point is that you vote every day that you take your hard earned dollar and hand it over to someone or some entity that gives you some sort of nutritious delicious treat in exchange. Would you rather give your money to somebody that knows how to say Bahh Haba....or some company that takes that dollar and continues to destroy your children's future. That is the choice you have.
 
For all the Mainah's that read Danie's blog, check out Eliot Coleman's farm stand, books, website, etc. at www.fourseasonfarm.com He is a local hero of yours and somebody who has greatly influenced the way I eat and how I operate my farm. I strongly recommend checking out his place and what he has to offer. He has grown from just another Mainah setting an example of peaceful living - to one of the forefront speakers and experts on local, organic, sustainable, and seasonal agriculture.
 
If you have any questions about what I have written, want to continue the conversation, or just want to tell me I'm an ass, you can get ahold of me anytime @ beyondorganicsfarm@gmail.com.
 
Peace,
James

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