Monday, January 30, 2012

Piglets and Politics

Are farm tours a really California thing, or is it just me?  I feel -- and I may be 100% wrong here -- that it's a lot more common here in the West given the whole Alice Waters, farm-to-table, California cuisine thing we've got going here, especially in Northern California.  Thoughts?

In any case, the farm tour I took this weekend with Nate and a good friend of ours, Ferron (who has an awesome food blog, by the way!), was so much fun and super informative, and it really inspired me to keep thinking about and changing my food habits for the better -- something I'll keep in mind as I create my Girl♥Health February Action Plan.

For this particular tour, we headed an hour or so north to visit Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma, CA.  Tara Firma is a picturesque 300 acres, complete with fishing pond, farm store, CSA program, and really knowledgeable people to offer free tours each weekend every hour on the hour.  I got to scratch some pigs, hold a baby chick and see newborn piglets.  If you ever visit me, we'll go.  Promise.

What was maybe the best part of the whole tour was that it reaffirmed everything I've been learning about where our food comes from, big agriculture, and how large of a role the government plays in what we eat.  It's currently such a corrupt cycle -- huge subsidies for corporations that not only feed us crap that makes us obese and sick, but also destroys the livelihoods of small scale farms while causing so much environmental degradation that it boggles the mind.  We think the government will protect us from it all, but instead they're hiring the executives or board members or stakeholders from these corporations to become Supreme Court justices or high-level administrators in the EPA and FDA.  And so it continues.  It's way more interconnected than that, yes, but I think that's it in the most general sense.

I mean, we've all seen Food, Inc., right?  This farm tour brought it all home.

But aside from getting me slightly political, something I usually try not to do here, the farm tour was also just a great chance to get out of the city into the fresh air and sunshine, geek out on soil and grasses and what it means to be certified organic, and buy some delicious free-range, humanely raised food stuffs to fill our bellies this week.

Wish you could have all been there!

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