Joel Salatin on Local Food: It Starts with Each of Us

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Recently we had the pleasure of talking with Joel Salatin at home in Staunton, Virginia at his beloved Polyface Farms. As he was catching up on farm details after coming home from one of his many appearances around the country, we asked him to sum up the state of affairs in the world of local real food and farming. Joel is well known for his ideas of self-reliance, on the idea that the federal government should play less of a role in the relationship between the farmer and the consumer. He explained to us how the USDA (he calls it the “US-Duh”) was far more of a threat to sustaining the local real food movement than Monsanto. That was a real headscratcher for us, so watch this short video to hear his strong message.

What can one person do to make the food system better?

As we stood in his barn on a cold March morning, we asked him point blank, “What can one person do to make the food system better?” In a nutshell, he describes it as a “crisis of participation” and that in order for transparent, small real local food systems to thrive, each of us must participate regularly. Each of us must exercise our responsibility to buy from local farmers either at farmers’ markets, CSA’s, or shops that stock local fresh food. Demand good food, take the time and make the sacrifices required to buy and eat real food regularly, and the supply will meet the demand. Sounds simple, right?

We have seen such a resurgence in the real food movement–what is available to most communities today is phenomenal. The more we participate, the more we gain in working toward eliminating real food deserts.

It’s truly an exciting time for those of us who are passionate about restoring and maintaining transparent, sustainable real food systems. Let’s all do our part to keep it going!

Are you involved in the good food movement? Tell us about how your community supports their local food economy.

Photo credit: Craig McCord