This past weekend something very beautiful and inspiring happened. Many of you stood up, took action, spoke out, and marched to express what you wanted to see in particular for women’s rights, dignity and honor. This is how the change you want is made manifest. It is time for us to become activists in all parts of our lives.
Our governments, our schools, our health care, our food system, our arts and entertainment, and our media are controlled and directed by interests that do not share our values and priorities; and our families, our children and the planet are suffering daily as a result. It is a nightmare of disconnection.
It is time to unleash the activist in all of us. Let our anger and frustration overcome our resignation and despair. Take simple concrete actions that are consistent with what we want. We hold the power to change the system.
Our collective actions have enormous power to bring about rapid and beautiful change, because without your unquestioning participation and support and complacency, all these systems fall apart. It is time to go on strike!
Six years ago I started Farmers To You out of protest and frustration. My goal was to create an alternative to the current food system that was destroying our future: eroding family health, poisoning farms, dehumanizing workers, undermining hearth skills in the home, and destroying the land, soils and biodiversity. The answer seemed so simple. Reconnect families with their farmers so they could feed and support each other. And do it in a way that created strong relationships and incentives for good soil and agricultural practices, deep stewardship of the land, plants and animals; and that honored the craft of farming and also the craft of making nutritious healthy food at home.
Resistance to change and complacency with the status quo have slowed our growth and the realization of our mission and dream. We had hoped that by now our new model would be thriving in a number of different cities and food sheds across the country, but instead we are struggling to engage and retain families in sufficient numbers to make our organization sustainable. We see families struggling with making even the simplest changes in their food choices, and continuing to suffer the results. And we understand. Change is hard to implement.
Today I am asking you personally to take action – like you did this past weekend. I am asking you to speak up and to act out in your relationship to food because our food choices have the most profound impact on our health and happiness and the future of the planet. Your small changes will yield widespread and beautiful results…quickly.
- Here are some startling statistics:
89% of the food we buy is sold by supermarkets in the US.
- 5 multinational companies own virtually all supermarkets in the US and Europe. They control (or own!) the majority of our food growing, distribution and processing system.
- Farmers get paid $.12 cents of every dollar you spend for the food they produce.
- Food system workers are the lowest paid (and most poorly treated) workers in our entire economy.
- Our current food system is completely unsustainable.
- Americans spend more each year on entertainment than they do on food.
- Americans get 60% of their calories from snacking each day.
- We spend more in a year on eating out than we do on eating at home.
So…if each of us made one simple change and reallocated 20% of the money we spend at the supermarket and eating out (buying food from anonymous sources, processed by the most desperate people in our economy), we could effect more change to our food system in a shorter time than most people think is possible. If we spend that money on food grown locally and sustainably from sources that we can trust (local farmers markets, CSAs and Farmers To You), here is what will happen:
- Your action will pay for livable wages for farmers and food workers who live in your community and region.
- Your action will allow farmers to care for the land in a way that will make it more productive and healthier for future generations.
- Your money will go to those who actually do the work – $.60 cents of every dollar will go to the farmers, and most all of the remaining will go to the staff who lovingly pack your orders and deliver them each week. (Interestingly this is about the same for Farmers To You, farmers markets, and CSAs.)
- And most important for your family, the food you will be eating will have the power to heal you and make you stronger, not challenge your health with every bite.
This is not a sales pitch – this is a plea to take action that will make a difference. If you want to know more or have good ideas to share, please call me. I have invested my life and everything I have in making this change possible, but I cannot do it without your partnership. Share your stories and inspire us with your activism. We all need inspiration to help us stop eating in ignorance. Become a food rebel.
Our simple daily choices have the power to be revolutionary. One purchase at a time – made with consciousness and knowledge – will change the world into a place we can be proud of to leave to our children. One family at a time and one farmer at a time we can heal the earth, heal our families, and heal our communities. But each of us has to act!
I have persisted building Farmers To You despite all the setbacks because I believe this is one critical answer to making change possible and sustainable. Join me, join us and support our farmers and our families and this beautiful nourishing planet in this fight.
Thank you for your partnership – and your activism!
With deep gratitude and resolve,
And the team at Farmers To You