We ARE the new food movement!

Hilario Alvarez, Alvarez Organic Farm Brooke Lucy, Bluebird Grain FarmDevon Peña, Rio Culebra Agricultural CooperativeCarey Hunter, Pine Stump FarmJacob Cowgill. Prairie Heritage Farm

When do real folks take heart and believe in themselves? These days we’re letting opportunists with limited real background control the media aren’t we? And they, in turn, affect our morale. Too often, our news environment is a world of high-strung commercial hype. But in this instance, the media is not the message.

Back in October, I wrote that the good food movement was alive, well, and growing regardless of what would happen with the California initiative (contradicting Michael Pollen who saw the initiative as a “turning point”).

The food movement was alive and well with my grandparents in the 30s and 40s, my mother in the 50s and 60s, my own university group in the 70s and 80s, and is with my wife Gail and me and hundreds of friends into the present. If you don’t think so, see our coverage of what over 650 young organic farmers are doing in Washington State: Growing Forward with Tilth Producers, the Tilth Producers of Washington annual meeting in Port Townsend Nov. 9-12.

This is what we said in October and should deliver to Michael Pollen:

Two points to remember in this often convoluted discussion about “food” and “turning points” and the California Initiative as accounted below:

First off, the farm bill that is being held up right now by the Republicans, is in all major allocations, essentially a “Food Bill.” Most uninitiated journalists get this wrong; there is simply too much government paper to read.

Secondly, although journalists like to take credit for enlightening the public, good people have been working to change our industrial, bad food and factory farming monopoly for a long time (especially noteworthy are Rachel Carson, J. I. Rodale, Wes Jackson, Wendel Berry, Aldo Leopold, E. F. Schumacher, Albert Howard, E. B. Balfour, M. G. Kains, etc. etc. etc.). The California Initiative is not going to be a turning point–it is simply another step, however an important one.

The confusion centers on the “good food movement” being a truly grass-roots reformation. All the most significant changes are operating at the base, outside the mainstream media hype. And the players are little people–but there are many of us now, in fact more than the young, smart talking journalists can count. We are on the land, wherever we can find a place to plant or manage animals. We are on rooftops in cities and even on barges.

And we are “organic.” We are also larger commercial growers. We’re everywhere, selling directly through CSAs, and at farmer’s markets, and off the backs of pickups on roadways. We are also small grain cleaners and millers. And re-invented family meat markets. We’re food stands and restaurants and special kids lunch programs. We are everywhere, building our numbers for more than 70 years, all crying “down with Monsanto,” down with the factory food that is making us sick, on to recapturing our genuine choice of our food and right to know where it comes from and how it is produced and brought to our plate.

WE ARE THE NEW FOOD MOVEMENT. We are not Washington DC, not the factory farms or the corrupt academic institutions which support them, but just regular, independent thinking people. That is why, to some still addicted to bad food, we may go unnoticed. If you’re in a tavern, all you see are drinkers.

But to everyone determined to stay healthy and have healthy kids, and to people who care about the land and nature, and farm workers rights, and the proper humane treatment of animals, and the success of small business and stable, clean, healthy communities–we are right here in the open at the heart of the foundation of American Democracy. California’s GMO Labeling is not a turning point; it is simply another step along the long hard road of recovery of our food, our land, and our people.

See some of the hundreds of real voices describing the food movement here at GoodFood World.

Amanda Irving, Tall Grass BakeryJerry Pipitone, Pipitone FarmsMelissa Lines, Skylines Farm