In recent years our country has struggled with so many different issues concerning our food system. It has come so far as gardeners and small farmers being idealized as a group of activists by many Americans. How does growing your own food warrant such a label?
It is almost as though the activist label has derived out of a huge GLOBAL question on “How to feed the World?” Should that question be as large as the entire planet or should it be tamed to a much smaller question as simple as “How to feed Yourself?”
Perhaps we've come so far as a society in our country that we've forgotten our heritage as farmers who grew their own food. This was a time when families and communities worked together canning and preserving food to put up in the pantry and cellars. Could this indeed be the answer to the question of what sustainability means?
Are today's modern Americans trying to over-define and philosophy words to the point of utter confusion? I've noticed recently that several major reporters and writers now want to define the words Organic versus Local and debating over which is more sustainable. Does finding the pros and cons of each system change the simplicity that holds true by growing our own food?
Perhaps sustainability comes when American families and communities begin working together once more. Inner cities, urbanites and rural citizens alike might slow down the race to profits and conveniences.
Instead of the hunt for prepared and processed supermarket food, families might find the grassroots of our country. The pride America has had historically by the food they've grown themselves and sharing with their neighbors and community had made us a strong and healthy nation.
Because of the demand by Americans for healthy non-GMO and organic food, I would have to agree that organic is a healthier alternative. But when supply cannot meet demand and our markets become flooded with imported organic food, do we find that option more sustainable? And should the organic farms that are growing and producing in our country also be turned into giant mega-farms where integrity becomes in jeopardy? These are a very important question we must all ask ourselves.
Obviously buying food produced locally would curb a tremendous burden on our natural resources worldwide. But as many Americans have found, locally produced foods are hard to come by. Our small family farms are few and have been replaced by big corporate agribusiness.
The entire chain of events that once made up our communities to mill and process their own foods have disappeared. Our locally owned business and retails have been taken over by corporations and big box stores that frankly don't carry much of anything produced locally. Mom and Pop are far and few between and frankly American Made pretty much doesn't exist these days.
So America, you tell me if growing our own food can make a difference. Can it all be as simple as that? We are stewards of this land in which we were blessed with. Without it we simply can not exist. Are we too spoiled for Victory Gardening?