Saturday, March 13, 2010

FRESH and Bee School

Bee School was great on Thursday...even though it does run WAY past BumbleBedTime. We took 'Dynamics of the Hive' with Ken Warchol, the State Bee Inspector. He knows his stuff, and even though his philosophy is slightly different from mine, it was good to hear him talk and to feel more comfortable with the guy who could shut the whole apiary down. But he seemed a nice guy...and more than willing to help out and talk. So anyone who is afraid of the bee inspector...don't be--he seems a good guy.

The FRESH showing was really fun last night. We had lots and lots of food...more food than we should have eaten and a nice, intimate group of Farmin' Friends. FRESH really makes you think about the food we're eating...and just where, exactly, it's coming from. We can all pretend that the packaged meat at the grocery store really isn't a cow that's been injected with antibiotics and hormones and then the meat pumped with junk to make it look better in the package, but our bodies know the difference. And Karma knows the truth. I don't think deliberate ignorance is any excuse. I don't think that deciding not to think about the state of the life of the chicken that laid that grocery store egg is any excuse. I can let someone off the hook who truly has not thought about the state of the farming industry and their food, but once someone opens the door to really think about it, it's just lazy ignorance to refuse to learn and make a change...or choose not to make a change but knowing the truth. But to refuse to find out...especially those educated persons out there, makes you as guilty as the operations that torture the animals, are infusing our system with antibiotics so that when we're sick and need antibiotics they no longer work, and who are polluting our lands and water with more poop than a small city of humans...with little regulation. It's disgusting! And it makes me so angry when people are so upset with the pig or the cow or the chicken that began these drug resistant diseases, when it's our food system...but WHERE is the change to our food system? Why are we not outraged? Why do we refuse to make a change, when people are dying because of where our food comes from?

I think, for me, the most disturbing part of the movie last night was watching the baby chicks being tossed out of the boxes by the hundreds into the big scary chicken house. Some of them were killed in the fall, crushed immediately, some were crushed later in the mass of chicken bodies growing together. All I could think of was my little box of chickens from Mount Tully Kennels, carefully picking out my ten little baby chicks and driving them home and carefully picking each ball of fluff out and dipping their beaks into the drinking water before letting them loose on a fresh bed of clean litter in a box under a heat lamp. Then watching them skurry around and peep...and listening to the little peeps and learning which of the those peeps meant happiness and which meant distress. Watching them play so hard that they fall over into a sleep that you wonder if they are dead. And watching them learn to perch...and grow from fluff balls into the 'awkward chicken adolescent phase' at a few weeks when the fluffs starts turning to feathers...and they look like gauky teenagers. And then watching them chase their first grubs and taking their first totally happy steps on fresh green grass. What Michael Pollan says is true: the egg you buy in the grocery store is a completely different product from the egg you buy off a local farm (and the meat too).

We are so lucky to live where we live, surrounded by farms ready to share the bounty. Meat, milk, cheese, vegetables, everything we could possible want is here, waiting for us to come and get it. OK, maybe not the olive oil or the avocados, or the bananas, or the chocolate...but we do have Dean's Beans Coffee, and though it's not local, it is sustainable and a good company that does good not only in the communities that grow his coffee, but in our local town. And if we just started with a few things that we buy local and eat local...just that small change would make a difference. Someone in FRESH said, just ten dollars a week in the local system would make a huge difference in the food industry and the local economy! And it would probably be the best tasting food you'd eat!

TEN dollars into FRESH, local food...who can't spare that for good, quality food? Who can't spare that to make a change in the world? It is true that small changes in your own life and your own community do make a difference in the whole world. We just need to make the change and join the movement!

And as for the group that came to FRESH last night, I think we might all be worm farmers by the end of the summer!

For more information on the movie:

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