Food INC. For 23 years, my family and I raised chickens under contract with an international corporation. It is this experience that altered my life into one of many questions and challenges about the food that we eat and how it is produced. I am the poultry farmer who appeared in the Oscar nominated documentary
Farming isn’t a profession that most people up and decide one day “I’m going to be a farmer”. High school children don’t pick farming as a career choice. Farmers are “born” either through family tradition or through love of the land and the immense satisfaction of watching things grow, live and thrive from their efforts. It is a way of life!
As a species we need them to survive and yet our farmers are treated as if they are easily replaceable and the vast majority of people never give farmers a second thought. I learned this sad fact during the early years of my education in farming.
The relationship (or lack of) between giant corporations and the farmers that they contract with to raise a product brought me to a point of rebellion that became so strong it pulled me into standing up and speaking out. There is another entire world going on within industrialized food production that most people never hear about or see.
Our entire food system and how it comes to our dinner table is a system that most people have no clue about. Early on, I adopted a clear thought from others who spoke about the issues. How can we give thanks for the food that we eat when it’s come at an unbearable cost to others?
Wendell Berry, one of my favorite authors, writers, critic, and a true statesman had a significant impact on my thoughts. I easily identified with his plain wisdom and common sense. I’ve come to realize that issues surrounding agriculture and food should be measured with a good dose of common sense. If you know the difference between right and wrong then you have a solid beginning to figuring it all out.
After Food INC was released, I was bombarded with questions about how people could keep in touch with me and my work. Blogging and social networking are subjects of which I was clueless and learning to do it has been another life learning experience. Life is an adventure no matter what stage you are in. This blog, although very frustrating at times, has been one of those experiences.
I hope you enjoy my musings and that you are inspired to think and take action on your thoughts and beliefs over the food that you eat.