1. Protect our Food Supply:
- The U.S. is growing two food crops for both animals and people: corn and soy. Remember the Irish Potato Famine? Being dependent on two crops is dangerous. Diversity protects against famine caused by crop failure.
- Foreign imports from China and other countries usually have lower standards than the U.S.
- Disruption of food supply distribution chains due to terrorist activity.
- Control in the hands of small farmer and consumer instead of in the hands of huge companies.
- GMO foods come from conglomerates with an eye to their bottom line rather than to our health.
- 80% of feedlot beef is controlled by four companies. Also true for soy.
2. Reduce oil consumption used to transport food thousands of miles to market.
3. Supports and strengthen local economies all across the U.S.
4. Healthier choice:
- Animals are being fed a diet that is not natural to them. Cows are grass eaters, but are being fed corn and soy in feedlots. This diet makes them sick, hence the need for antibiotics. They are now training farmed salmon to eat corn! They have to find a use for the overproduction of corn, subsidized by our tax dollars, but destroying the nutrients in our food.
- We can know more about the farming practices of locally produced food, know how clean, how safe, how animals are cared for, how vegetables are raised.
- Local foods are fresher, higher in nutrients because they are harvested at peak ripeness for immediate consumption. Food traveling long distances must be harvested before they are ripe (lower in nutrient value) in order to have any sort of shelf life.
- Cuts down on the consumption of prepared foods, full of additives, preservatives, and fillers. Along with the increased consumption of prepared foods go increases in chronic illness not experienced in cultures eating a more traditional diet, even those high in fats (France, Polynesia, Inuits, Masai). Diabetes has increased 1000% in the last ten years! 1 in 3 of us develops cancer now, and osteoporosis is common. Learning disabilities and ADHD are rampant, along with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Whoever heard of these conditions 40 years ago? We have become a nation with the greatest wealth but with the greatest deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
5. Environmental issues:
- Conventional farming is dependent on the use and overuse of chemical fertilizers which deplete the soils and contaminate our streams and rivers. The Gulf of Mexico now has a huge “dead zone” caused by runoff from farms beginning far to the north and throughout the Midwest.
- Conventional animal farms pollute groundwater supplies due to huge collections of waste.
- The self-sustaining family farm of years ago relied on very little from outside, recycling animal waste and composted trimmings from vegetables as fertilizer and soil conditioner. Crops were rotated, animals moved from pasture to pasture as grasses matured.