‘LET’S KEEP OUR FARMER MARKETS’
As if there weren’t enough for the government to do, now the FDA has decided with a forceful shove from Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson’s and ADM to introduce legislation that may put an end to local farmer markets. Their claim is that locally grown produce does not undergo the same rigorous inspections and puts the shopper at risk of food poisoning.
I understand that there needs to be regulation, but these bills would require such a burdensome complexity of rules, inspections, fees and licensing for each individual farmer, that selling at the local market would no longer be a viable option. Just reading these bills (HR 875, HR 814, and HR 759) was enough to make my head spin. I can’t imagine having to incorporate that knowledge into the running of a small agri business.
I find this more than a little disheartening. When the entire country is in need of locally grown, organically produced fresh fruits and vegetables the agri giants are slowly pushing for universal safety rules that will put an end to local farmer markets across the nation.
Unfortunately the same agri giants do not offer organically grown produce, only factory farmed produce that has less nutritive value and maybe be more dangerous to your health due to chemical pesticides and fertilizers and now irradiation. Not to mention the greed of a company that wants to forego safety rules like the recent case of salmonella laden peanut products.
Here are some other reasons to stand up against this terrible bill.
1. Factory farming does not support a small local community or family truck garden.
2. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 2-3 fold when there is no transportation or packaging involved in the production and marketing of produce.
3. The fertilizers used on large factory farms are petroleum based by products
4. Most cases of food poisoning come from factory farmed foods that are mishandled or incorrectly processed.
5. Nutrient packed locally grown produce has a positive impact on health
6. Farmer markets and local truck farms are wonderful educational tools for our children. It gives them a better sense of where our food comes from, what exactly is involved in the process and, therefore a better connection to the earth and our need to protect it.
7. Studies show education and interest in real food indirectly reduces obesity in children and adults
8. In these times of economic crisis locally grown fresh produce is usually one-third to one half the cost of what you will find at your local grocer.
If you enjoy going to the local farmer market, it’s important that you speak out against these bills. Call your local and state representatives, send them letters or email making your wishes known. Be sure to mention the bills (listed above) by their numbers. Till next time, Rebecca