Here are the results from Splendid Table’s Sustainability Survey.
More than 15,000 people responded to the quiz, likely a predominantly pre-selected population of people already concerned about such issues (like you and I). As such the answers are fairly expected.
- We are a population concerned about local sourcing, storing our foods through the winter,
- we actively shop at farmers’ markets,
- our concern includes becoming informed about seafood and cattle,
- we feel safer buying locally,
- We don’t feel safe buying food from chain grocery stores.
We are willing to pay more for organic food, yet we know that there are other factors more important for ensuring full flavor (ripeness, farmer proximity, or growing the food ourselves) of our ingredients. This survey seems to show the tip of our organic conundrum we now face. As predicted, the attention of large scale operations (Walmart) to the sale of organics has helped mire the process of organic certification in endless, nonsensical regulations that keep small scale (sustainable).
The regulations put in place to certify operations as organic act to shut out family scale operations by their assumptions of scale. And yet, the Splendid Table survey indicated that we want the Federal government to regulate food more closely.
If more government regulation of our food is really what we want, we have to be ready to direct this governmental energy. We need to remind our legislators to protect the interests of family scale food producers. Our government is under constant fire from corporate lobbyists who want to shut out our sustainable food producers. To help combat this corporate energy, we need to be in the habit of updating our legislators and reminding them to represent our interests.
For a taste of how this issue of regulations affects family scale farmers, check out this four page pdf by Joel Salatin (of Polyface Farms, featured in Omnivore’s Dilemma) Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal.
I admit, I’m not in the habit of contacting my government representatives (post cards, phone calls…). However, our times have well indicated that we need to represent our own interests for ourselves.
Will you join me in this turn of action? We can figure out how to do this together.