Last night, I went to the Local Food Film Fest one last time to see Fresh. It was more like Food, Inc., in that it was better produced, and more formal, but it definitely was more positive. There was some stuff about the feedlots and chicken houses, but it also had lengthy portions talking to sustainable farmers and how they ran their farms. It was pretty cool. One guy would move his cows from field to field every day. After the cows were done, he pulled these "chicken tractors" into the field and let his chickens out to forage in the field. They produced tons of eggs. Then the field would rest, regrow, and the cycle would start again.
I remember learning about crop rotation as a 6th or 7th grader in one of my history classes. We learned how when European farmers started rotating their crops, famine and crop disease went down because the different crops would take different nutrients from (and return other nutrients to) the soil. It never occurred to me that due to the industrialization of our food system, that's no longer happening. We are growing one crop on a farm, whether it's corn or soybeans or hogs, year after year until the nutrients are depleted and the bugs become pesticide resistant. It's not a good way.
It seems like a lot of problems we're experiencing in American society, e.g. farmers going under and needing government subsidies, overuse of antibiotics creating "superbugs", etc. are due to the industrialization of our food system. This film was hopeful though, because it showed people doing something different, changing the system from the inside, and doing it successfully.
There was a discussion after the film again, but I didn't stay because I'm kind of done with talking about local food issues for now. As, I'm sure, are you. So, I'm going to hop off the soap box and I promise my next few posts will not be preachy. I have some ideas for things (and pictures) to post that I think you will find interesting. Til next time, dear readers (and remember to eat local)!