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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/3/13

Revolutionary Eating

Message Vernon Huffman
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Boycott the food industry! Refuse to buy or eat processed food from supermarkets. It may be among the most important things you can do to bring about a peaceful revolution.

Please notice the format of this article. Rather than summarize the many great sources of information, we've chosen to tie together links to other works. As you read, if you aren't certain you understand the point of each sentence, please click on the hyperlink to get more detail. If you know a lot about food issues, this article could be a quick read that fits information into a plan of action. If you follow and read every link, this could be one of the longest, most detailed articles you have ever read. Please take what you need to improve your life.

Surely you've noticed some problems in your food supply.
    *    GMOs, banned in nations that honor the precautionary principle, are common in US grown food.
    *    Toxic pesticides are being used more and accomplishing less.
    *    Meat has gotten absolutely frightening.
Industrial agriculture has largely replaced family farms. Profits have supplanted purity as the priority of government regulations as the fox tends the hen house. This is not a new phenomenon. Government regulators are the reason we were all taught that milk is a basic food group. Scientific evidence has always pointed in the opposite direction. Cow's milk is not particularly good for people. One needn't be a conspiracy theorist to understand why corporations have sought to dominate food. The market demand is quite reliable. And, because corporations are required to put profits first, the industrialization of food has eliminated the concern for healthful nutrition, at least since marketeers learned how to manipulate fundamental hunger urges.

By now, you probably accept that the aisles of our grocery stores are filled with poison. If not, please go back and read some of the links cited. But what can you do about it? After all, we've all got to eat, right?

Well, yes, and we were eating long before grocery stores were invented. Food is a primary interaction with the living planet. Perhaps it's time to re-examine the nature of that interaction. How did our ancestors survive?   How did the First People live in the region south of where you are now?

You don't have to become a paleolithic hunter-gatherer. At least not yet. It might be worth consideration as the system starts to crash. Meanwhile, we can cling to what seems worthwhile in the modern agricultural system, while spitting out what tastes wrong to us. Farming with minimized use of petroleum products seems a reasonable goal. Draft animals may provide useful energy. There are places that have experienced oil embargo with differing results. A great deal hast been written about farming without oil.

It is important to have and share a vision of a healthy future, but only if it gives you incentive for action. The remainder of this article is devoted to specific actions you may take to undermine industrial agriculture and build a healthier alternative.

Support your local farmer's market and food co-op. If you don't have one, start a buying club with your neighbors. Encourage everyone to keep their purchases as local and organic as possible. It's important to ask how buying policies are set and what they say. How big a radius must define local in order to consistently feed the population? Is there a difference between "locally produced" and "locally grown?" Understand what USDA certified organic actually means . Get to know your farmers and support their efforts to resist big agribusiness.

Most importantly, you can grow your own organic food to share with neighbors.  Start by listing what plants you most enjoy eating. Research the ideal growing conditions of those plants, until you find a match with where you live. Return the nutrients you eat to the soil. Think about how much you will use before you buy seeds. Spread plantings across the seasons to reduce the cycles of glut and want. You may also choose to learn some of the preservation arts, freezing, drying, or canning food so you can eat consistently between harvests.
From Fall Windowboxes
Fall Windowboxes by thegardenbuzz

Americans put far too much time and energy (and chemicals!) into lawns and ornamental plantings. Imagine shifting all those yards, parks, and parking strips over to food production. Even apartment dwellers can have window boxes, green walls, and rooftop gardens. If you can afford a greenhouse, consider attaching it to your home to augment solar gain and reduce your heating costs. Even if you can't, potted plants can be moved in and out with seasonal shifts. All plants have a symbiotic relationship with us animals. Every seed is a potential miracle. Soil can come to life in the most unlikely of places with a little nurturance.

Learn permaculture techniques that are locally appropriate. Honor the transformational power of fungi and maintain the nutrient cycle. You may even resort to seed bombing and guerrilla gardens. A strategy I've learned from friends who have lived as hunter/gatherers is to plan to eat low on the food chain, but when something eats what you intended to eat, move up a notch. They also tell me that the best way to learn to retain your health is to ask a healthy elder.

Along with bicycling, gardening is a key component of the strategy of staying fit for the struggle. You're no good for the cause if you can't take care of yourself. When we live for a better world, we feel better. Viva la lucha!
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Since 2006, the author has bicycled through 33 states with Bike4Peace ( He also blogs at

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