Monday, December 28, 2015

"Country of Origin" Labeling ends... but is that bad?

I saw this ad on facebook and a thought hit me:

Is this a bad thing?   yes.. and no.

Sure.. I understand how people who rely on grocery stores are so concerned with labels. when you don't or can't know the people that produce your food, then labels are all you have. I get that...


Is not that actually the heart of the problem?
The reliance on the middle man, instead of the producer?
The reliance on labels instead of a relationship with the producer?
The distance between farmer and consumer?

The fact that meat will no longer forcibly carry a label of origin is actually a great boon to a return to local food, to a return to "knowing your farmer". It is true  what critics say.. now you dont know where your meat comes from... but wasn't that always true? Nothing has really changed.. unless you were trusting that all american made meat was healthy while all foreign meat was dangerous... but thats not true! It is the american meat system that is at the heart of the real problem.. so knowing hte country of origin at the store is not helpful, knowing your farmer IS helpful.

See, here is the real problem... we tend to rely on labels. Labels are ADVERTISING, MARKETING, controlled largely by the government. There is some prevalent yet silly notion that if the government approves of the label, the product inside must be healthy. Nothing is further from the truth! Consider the GMO labeling effort... sure there may be some value in knowing what is GMO and what is not.. BUT... only for those who are ok with consuming toxic conventionally produced foods anyway... because all those who care about their food are already buying organic or better yet...  from a known "beyond organic" farm.  IF a person is ok buying a food labelled "non-gmo", then they already conceded health, so why does it matter?

So what does that mean?

I say, we need to forget about labels and push to know the farmer. Dont buy anything "anonymously"  at a store if you can buy the same thing from a farmer, or from a farm you know.  Take charge of your own life, quit relying on government agencies to protect you.. and get out there to find a farm you trust. Buy from them... support them.. put your trust in yourself and the people you know.

then all the battles over labels are a moot point! Who cares?!?  labels no longer matter.

To the activists I say... quit fighting the battle on the terms of big business... you will loose just as we lost the organic vs conventional battle that way. Instead, remove the financial incentive to produce bad food by educating the public to buy from a farmer they know.  Take the battle to a whole new level, flank the enemy by moving the battle to what they can not control.. the hearts and minds of your neighbors. Forget government regulations... thats a game that big business plays better than anyone. Instead we take the message directly to the consumer. Buy nothing but beyond organic food, from a farmer you know.

Problem solved.

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