Growing up in Chicago, my closest experience to farming was looking at farms as I drove to Wisconsin. At that time, food was something I bought at the grocery store, and as long as it wasn’t moldy, slimy, or green, it was deemed fresh – at least fresh enough to eat.
Fast forward many years, and I came face to face with how the food industry worked while driving through West Texas towards New Mexico. The drive had been clear the entire way, but up ahead it looked like a storm was brewing. The sky was cloudy, haze hanging low over the small town just ahead of us.
Imagine my city girl surprise when my husband, a native of this part of the country, chimed in with, “no, that’s not a storm; it’s a feed lot.”
I had never seen a feed lot before, and this one was enormous. And for the first time in my life, I finally understood where hamburger really came from.
Though I’m sure many of you are chuckling at my ignorance, rest assured, I was aware of the fact that hamburger patties weren’t produced at the grocery store; but I had never seen exactly how they were produced. It’s like watching a movie, and then watching a movie being made. The larger than life pictures on the big screen look very different when you get a glimpse of movie making reality.
That feedlot made me realize one thing; that it’s time we all understand the process of where our food comes from. And that if we don’t like it, we can work to change the status quo, like so many farmers and ranchers are doing as they adopt Holistic Management on their farm or ranch.
If feedlots are abhorrent to you, start eating grass fed beef. If you no longer want to eat foods contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides, start buying nutrient-dense food from your local farmer or rancher.
Just remember the food system we currently have has stayed in place because for years, no one thought to question it. Start questioning, make your voice heard, start buying local and grass fed products and maybe the system will change.
There are other ways you can help the system change. If you’re a farmer or rancher looking for a more sustainable, regenerative way to operate your farm or ranch, be sure and check out our classes; both on-line, and those taking place in communities around the world.
Or if you want to support our efforts to bring Holistic Management to farmers and ranchers around the globe, consider supporting our programs or our organization today with a donation. Just $100.00 would pay for a farmer or rancher to take a class.
The only guarantee that nothing will change is if you do nothing to change it.