i read more of The Omnivore's Dilema this evening, and it made me think of my time in Mexico last summer. the first "Third" discussed at length the impact of industrialized corn on our industrialized and commodified (my word) future network. every type of food product has remnants of corn in it, especially corn syrup, but also many different preservatives, thickeners and the like. the entire web of monoculture corn production has, in the perspective of the author, bastardized our relation to land, to food, and to nutrition.
i just finished the second "Third", which presented an indepth look at a polycultural farm in Va. i can't call it an 'organic' farm b/c the farmer strongly dissents at that label. he sees the growth of mordern Organic- most recently characterized or discussed in a NYTimes magazine article about Wal-Mart- as having given in to the industrialized machine that synthetic food moved to long ago. this section, though, brought me to think of Mexico, and some of my experiences there. the picture below captures a local market very close to my house that took place i think Tuesday and Saturday. local market with local products sold to local citizens. there is a 'Farmer's Market' about 2 miles from our house, not on this scale, but certainly capturing a similar vibe. and perhaps a similar vibe to that presented in the book. that food should be local, should be clean, should be free from chemicals and carcinogins, should be fresh, should provide a good living for a local resident instead of an exec at AMD. after reading this book- and you ALL should do so- i'll guarantee you that i'll be visiting the local market on Saturday mornings.
i HAVE to believe that there are people out there, bike commuters out there, who see our system as more than pod life, more than being a Number, as more than the bottom line and merely a widget in the machine. i do lots of gardening, but only perennials, shrubs, flowers. my mamaw and papaw raised a humongous garden every summer, canning 120 quarts of beans, untold tomatoes, and who knows what other kinds of veggies. they grew out of a rural, poor existence where growing your own food from seed was a hell of a lot more work, but a hell of a lot cheaper. the older i get, i have the inclination that, as the book says, we all would be better "Opting Out" in certain ways. for me, that is first using the bike instead of the car. and secondly participating in Slow Food, Local Food, instead of eating partially hydroginated garbage that came from lands afar but preserved with nasty ass chemicals.