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How to opt out of the industrialized food system

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms wrote an essay for the Food, Inc. companion book and explained practical ways we can choose to opt out of the industrialized food system. Below are some of the key points to help encourage you to make small changes. What are some of the ways you’re modifying your eating habits?

  1. Rediscover your kitchen. This is where you say goodbye to the takeout menu and packaged foods (as much as possible), and start cooking again. As Salitin puts it, “learn to use your kitchen for its intended purpose.”
  2. Buy local. When you have the choice, purchase as directly as possible from local farmers. Directing money to farmers instead of industrialized corporations helps promote a change in the system. Shop at farmers markets and join a CSA. To find your nearest Farmers Market or join a CSA, check out Local Harvest.
  3. Buy what’s in season. Most foods are not in season year round, yet growers have discovered ways to make them available. But the difference in their quality is remarkably clear once you bite into a winter tomato. “The most unnatural characteristic of the industrial food system is the notion that the same food items should be available at once at all times,” Salatin explains. If asparagus is for sale in winter, resist the urge to take it home.
  4. Plant a garden. Not everyone has space to plant their own garden, but even potted herbs near a sunny kitchen window can help eliminate your reliance on industrialized food. If space is limited, look into community garden plots.

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Food for Thought

"To care about food but not food production is clearly absurd." // Wendell Berry

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