I pre-ordered this movie several months ago and finally got it in the mail. If you have not seen FOOD, Inc., you must. I have struggled all summer with raising my own meat to eat. We raised meat chickens in the spring and now again in the fall. The beef we eat comes off our place. And our pork is raised 30 miles away by a man who does a small amount every year. I still cried at the time of process and feel bad each time we eat it. I do know that what we are doing is the right thing for my family. Raising your own, in my experience, has not been a money saving experience. It costs more to feed animals well and to keep them healthy and happy. Our egg layers live in what has been coined the Chicken Taj Mahal. And as far as chickens go, I think they are happy as clams.
What I do know is this: If, as a country, we do not do something about the inhumane ways animals for food are raised and processed, we will be in bigger trouble than we already are. If school do not do something to make meals for children healthier, our kids will continue to gain weight and take on obesity oriented diseases. At what point did it become common place for an apple to cost more than a $.99 hamburger. Families are doing what they can to put food on their tables, the food industry is changing what that food is. There is a petition you can sign to change the food served in schools. Hungry For Change can be found here and is a great way to begin getting involved.
We have chosen to continue our adventure into homegrown and home raised. We will keep on doing our part at our level to have a healthier lifestyle. Those of you in cities also have options. You can join CSAs, which are Community Supported Agriculture options. You can chose to spend a little more at the grocer to buy healthier and fresher foods and leave behind some of the more convenient foods. Eventually this will cause the store buyers to stock healthier options and leave out the cruddier ones. They are only going to stock what people are purchasing. Frequenting farmer and growers markets are also a wonderful way to support the local farmer and to feed your family from local sources. So much food these days is grown in other countries. I am trying to go for a 100 mile radius. Simply keeping it within the USA is a noble approach too.
Maybe I sound like a raving maniac and maybe all of this sounds like an unreasonable attempt to take on a giant. But as a nation we took on the Tobacco industry and we won, to some degree. But it is heading in the right direction. It can be done, it just takes us caring about it at home.