[Market-farming] OT Thought Provoking (or maybe just provoking:)

Rick Williams mrfarm at frontiernet.net
Sun Jan 26 23:32:33 EST 2003

Del Williams wrote:

>>>>>I agree.  Extreme thinking on either end, limits individual choices.
I'm not sure if I agree with you on the Brave New World interpretation.
It's irrelevant.  The fact is, there are people limiting our choices and,
frankly, they aren't from the left.
The only people that can limit our choices are our elected officials.
Otherwise, anyone is welcome to attempt, successfully or unsuccessfully as
the case may be, to try and fill a perceived need or service.

>>>>>Well, I think consumers should pay what it costs to raise high quality
food.  The problem is the disinformation campaigns about the so called food
that is cheap.  Who is behind that?  It ain't the left.

I think this is the main fallacy I see with folks on the left. You won't get
many to support you on this one except those with a vested interest. Very,
very few people want to pay any more for food than they have to and they are
generally happy with the food that they are getting through the current
channels of distribution. The only disinformation that I have seen are those
who make unsubstantiated claims of their products. Generally that comes more
from the left leaning folks. But it could come from some of the ultra
individualistic right wingers too.

>>>>>Well, sure, how is NYC going to raise enough oats for all that Crème
And absolutely.  What are all those people in Phoenix going to do when they
realize that water is an issue in food production?  Heck, they don't even
think about that when it comes to flushing their toilets!  Or raising
ridiculous lawns in a desert.  That is the kind of thinking that affects all
of us.  Or should I say, non-thinking?

Do not denigrate others. That is typical left wing thinking. Always putting
down "other people." The fact is that others know very well that in some
areas they are pushing the envelope of some resources.

The thing about the left kind of thinking in such as case is to have MORE
control over these unfortunate riff raff by passing all sorts of new laws.

>>>>Well, I hate to go here but the government is taking taxable income from
both spouses, not just the low earning librarian.  They are both losing, not
just the librarian who puts the books back on the shelves.  And, frankly,
it's simply selfishness.  They aren't suffering one iota in comparison to
the two middle income married earners who are both working for minimum wage.
Boo hoo for the physician and her librarian husband.

Again, typical left wing attitude. About as clear as they come. At least you
are open about it.

>>>>>Really?  When is the last time your locality functioned without a
grocery store?  Come on.  Food is a major aspect of any community of human
beings.  The fact, perhaps, that food production is zero in many localities
is a commentary on their willingness to be vulnerable to interests that do
not care about the health of the communities they make profit from.

Delivered food ... yes, the farm production of the food ... no. We were
talking about local production vs shipping it in from longer distances. In
order to have cities, we deliberately zone away food production. Otherwise
we would have suburban sprawl across the entire country.

I should make it clear that I am actually not opposed to the John Vivian
concept of "Five Acres and Independence," but many are strongly opposed to
this and try to prevent smallholders.

>>>>>>Sure businesses do not all survive.  Some of the worst businesspeople
I have ever seen are in agriculture.  Oh and healthcare.  This idea that if
I plant it, they will come and buy it... someone will...or the government
will.  This doesn't undermine the notion that local production of basic food
isn't wise and worthwhile for any community.  And localities would be better
off, in the long run, by promoting it.

We probably agree on this.

>>>>>Most people don't think, Rick.  You do.  I do.  They just spend their
money and eat.  They get fat and unhealthy from poor eating practices
promoted by corporate interests.  We all pay for that one way or the other
in the long term.  And who, societally, evaluates that?

You probably don't even realize your extreme left wing bias here, but this
is one of the most despicable traits I consisently see with those on the
left side of the equation. A type of elitist notion that only they and a few
intellectuals are worthy.
It is a pervasive view. I know, because I used to be on that side 30+ years
ago. And I eventually left the movement as a card carrying member of HSUNA
(Humanist Student of North America), the student branch at the time of the

>>>>>I have to pathetically laugh at one more statistic on smoking.  I'd
like to see the real stats on the societal costs for people who eat in
unhealthy ways because they walk into a grocery store and think that all
those boxes actually contain decent 'food'.  Yeah, sure.  No one puts a gun
to your head and tells you to light up.  Not any more than anyone puts a gun
to your head and says, buy that food that will make you sick in the long run
and cost society for your bad eating habits.

The issue is not so much the quality, as it is the type of food that people
are eating. Whether you eat so-called "organic" or conventional food, even
if there was some measurable difference, which so far has eluded even the
organic folks, the difference in your health would be nearly
inconsequential. For example: whether you eat the "organic" chips at 9 g/oz
of fat or the conventional chips at 9 g/oz of fat is not as important as
choosing to eat something healthier.

The fact is that smoking, and obesity, food choices, etc. may lead to early
death. And the one thing that has been politically incorrect to talk about
is that those people who die young actually benefit the rest of us because
they do not drain the retirement and medical resources of the society as
much as the one group that does. The elderly females who live many more
years than most men and use tremendous resources, especially the medical and
long term elder care. If everyone lived to be 90 or so, something would have
to be changed because we frankly could not afford to support them. We see
this coming with the baby boom generation.

>>>>My point was, this isn't an idea promoted by the left.  These practices
are promoted by the likes of those corporate interests who don't give a damn
about the societal cost of poor food quality.

The corporations or business people (whether corporations or not) need to
provide solutions to peoples wants and needs. They try to find things that
will sell and that free people actually want. The food quality is actually
quite good, especially when you consider the transportation and storage. If
the local products sell better to a willing consumer then they will have to
change to meet the consumers wishes. Thus far the consumer is not that
interested in local but there is some slight interest by a tiny minority. In
other words, a developing niche market. Not unlike so-called organic.

>>>>>If you look beyond the cost of supporting or promoting (better) small,
independent producers, who actually give a damn about the quality of food
they are offering their localities, those grower/producers are worth every
dime for what they are providing their localities.
They are only worth what the consumer is willing to pay. No more and no
less. 98%+ of the consumers are NOT willing to pay the price of the local
food at this time. Maybe that will change.

>>>>>At the risk of naming names... do I really think Kraft, with all it's
pushing of ersatz food over the past 50 years gives a damn about the health
of people in Illinois as they sit in their corporate Chicago offices
promoting that garbage?  I think they ought to be taxed and sued for
presenting that stuff as decent food in our supermarkets... just like the
tobacco producers who have promoted their addictive product.  It's all the
same.  They are ruining people's health by promoting nonfood to people who
are not thinking.

This is crazy talk. They are providing whatever people want. If people did
not want the products, they would be discontinued. And often they are.
Recently, on public TV they had a cooking program and the chef had 5 cheeses
for a macaroni and cheese dish. I can not remember all the products but one
of the top ones was Kraft Crackerbarrel cheese. And it is an excellent
product. Another good one was Cabot Cheese. One that everyone on the set
agreed was the worst cheese was a bland insipid "organic" cheese.

Another example: I have tried many Parmesan cheeses. I keep coming back to
one ... Kraft. I prefer theirs to any other.

>>>>>Why do we sit around discussing soybeans when the very culprits for
undermining quality food production sit right in our own backyards?  Our
neighbors and friends.
You lost me on this one.

>>>>>Velveeta, doesn't really approximate real cheese, and you can't live on
it, but hell, why argue with it?  It keeps people from feeling hungry and
its cheap.  Still, people have a choice and they choose to eat poorly.
Another social trap that localities neglect in their attempt to outsource
the health of their communities.

Whatever do you find that is wrong with Velveeta? We use it for making some
kinds of pourable cheeses such as over broccoli. It is basic cheese and has
greatly superior protein compared to vegetable protein. It is made from
cow's milk. DFA makes a comparable product under their acquired Borden's
label that we also buy.


Rick Williams
Misty Ridge Farm
Direct marketed dairy beef and produce
(also dairy heifers and beef stockers)
Viroqua, WI

More information about the Market-farming mailing list