Food Sustenance and Security

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Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

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By: Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, February 24, 2010

When our factory farms become so big and filthy, and so insensitive to normal food processing practices that they are making people sick, the answer is not, apparently, that we should maybe be looking to local food supplies by getting back to healthy, locally grown, organic food. No, the answer seems to be that we are supposed to give the federal government 'more money and authority.'

The mainstream media works in conjunction with the federal government and large corporate interests to build up and hype the usually small number of deaths associated with contaminated food. For example, a recent salmonella outbreak in peanut butter killed eight people out of a nation of over 300 million. It received major, mainstream media attention. While I think any death is a tragedy, there are much greater causes for concern than this. Take diabetes, it kills thousands of people per year and doesn't receive the media attention minor food contaminations do. If news organizations were really interested in health and safety, they would be focusing their news coverage on things that would save the maximum number of people. What about all the soy we're sucking down? What about all of the high fructose corn syrup in our food? What about all of the hydrogenated vegetable oils that are known to be poisonous? What about all of those stories? Are they getting front page headlines? No, because nobody stands to gain from telling you about it.

Now, here we are about to enter a full-scale depression if things don't change. Back during the Great Depression in the 1930's, the government actually encouraged people to grow their own gardens. On the internet, you can find posters from the 1930s and 40's where they were promoting the idea of gardens by pointing out that we're all going broke, nobody has any money, you can't afford to go to the store and buy food; so why don't you go out in your own back yard with a spade, a shovel and some cow manure and grow yourself some food.

It was a huge marketing effort. They spent large sums of money in a promotional campaign to get people to plant their own gardens, later to be named Victory Gardens in the 1940's during the war. All through that era there were various government programs underway to prevent the American public from starving and to try to ensure that people were self-sufficient.

I don't see any of that today. When was the last time any government official in any capacity whatsoever encouraged you to go out in your back yard and plant some food? None? That's because they don't want you to. Because if you grew your own food, then your money would not be going into these huge food conglomerates - the Archer Daniels Midland company, the Cargills, the Armour food processors, all the big meat packers. If you raised your own food, those guys wouldn't be getting your money now, would they?

If you really wanted food safety, financial well-being and food security, the answer is not a bigger, more powerful federal government, the answer is providing your own family with food you raised yourself. That's something we all could be doing if we had any sort of encouragement, training and ability - attributes that have all been stripped out of us by many thousands of hours sitting in front of a TV screen instead of out working the land with our own hands (hey, I'm holding my hand up, too, I have the same upbringing you did).

People need to understand that if you do not control your own food supply, you are giving somebody at the other end of a noose around your neck a whole lot of latitude to pull it real tight.

This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission.  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at www.gcnlive.com Katherine’s website is:  www.katherinealbrecht.com