One of our best hopes for safe food is to protect the farmers that give us a way to opt out of the industrial food system.
As the news headlines appear, one by one, about salmonella in peanut butter, antibiotics found in vegetables, melamine in milk, mercury in high fructose corn syrup and the potential of clones in the U.S. food supply, consumers have more and more reasons to be wary of our industrial food system.
One can go vegetarian, buy organic, or avoid processed foods, but it is hard to truly avoid all of the dangers that lurk in our food. For these reasons and others, many choose to buy their food from local, sustainable farmers. But with economic trouble hitting seemingly every sector, how long will these farmers be able to hold on?
In many ways, the family farmer is an endangered species in America, made even more precious by the daily influx of bad news about food produced by the alternative -- industrialized agriculture.