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Food Freedom: Why It Matters and How You Can Protect It

Imagine if when you woke up in the morning, a government inspector told you what shirt to wear. They picked your blouse, they selected the belt around your waist. And when they finish with you, they scurry down the hall to do the same to your kids. It would feel intrusive, wouldn’t it? Imagine they did this for everyone, regardless of how things fit or looked, or how their choices made people feel.

Our government may not do this with our clothes, but they do something frighteningly similar with our food. They ban and prohibit large numbers of foods that other countries enjoy (like raw milk), while subsidizing and deeming safe dozens of foods that are banned in other countries (GMOs). They spend thousands of hours and tens of millions of dollars harassing small farmers and local food distribution models, while providing exemptions and back door handshakes to big producers and players.

Even more startling, they claim the ultimate right to decide what we feed ourselves and our families, openly saying things like the following:

There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food…[we don’t have] a fundamental right to our own bodily and physical health.

You and I suffer for it. Our nation has experienced three straight generations of explosive growth in disease and death, obesity and allergies. And as we suffer, the planet suffers with us. Because of the governments favoring of industrialized food production, erosion, soil degradation, and industrial agricultural pollution intensifies across our land, air, and water supplies.

The solution seems easy, doesn’t it? Just opt out! Start a small farm, or an urban homestead! Start raising and growing your own food, support yourself, give back to your community, and remove yourself from systems that destroy the land. Simple, right?

Not necessarily. What happens when you try to opt out? You’ve all heard the stories of small farming operations being shut down essentially because of government bullying. Maybe you decide to be a pastured poultry producer, who wakes one day to find that the inspector is going to shut down your operation over a picture on your website. Or perhaps you want to directly and privately distribute food to your community, only to receive quarantine orders and the police at the doorstep of your farm. Maybe you want to start an artisanal business, but even after your entire life savings is spent, you discover you still aren’t in compliance with the labyrinth of confusing regulations you have been trying to follow. You’re harassed because you’re trying to make a healthy, sustainable choice. The U.S. government does all of this because they deem small farmers a threat to the current industrialized model. It’s not about health, and it’s not about safety. It’s about profit.

Food Freedom is having the choice to remove yourself from the current model of industrial agriculture, without being bullied by big agHaving Food Freedom means you are able to work to better your health, the health of your community, and the health of the land. It’s holistic, and just might be the key to a long-term sustainable model of food production.

All of this is why the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund works hard for farm and food freedom: the health of our people and the health of our planet depend on it. The FTCLDF is dedicated to protecting small farmers’ rights to nutrient-dense food by defending them against the whistle-blowers who seek to shut them down.

And that is why Keith and Michelle Norris are joining us August 19-21st for our annual Food Freedom event in Staunton, Virginia.  We will spend a weekend at the legendary Polyface Farm with Joel Salatin, Robb Wolf, Diana Rodgers, Dallas Hartwig, and so many others.

Food Freedom Fundraiser

We’ve got some coupon codes for you, too!

Use coupon code FFF20 for $20 off a one-on-one or Sunday session

Use coupon code FFF40 for $40 off of any Saturday session

We invite you to join us, if you can. There are three great events to choose from. Pick one you like, or better yet, join us for all three!

You may even get free tickets by making a donation to support protecting your local small farmers and your dinner plate.

We hope you will join us, because without food freedom, without the opportunity and ability to make food choices from people we trust, to get the foods we need to be well, we all lose out – our farmers, our families, our communities.  You can make a difference by joining us in August.

Look forward to seeing you there, along with the rest of our friends in the Paleo community!

 – John Moody, Executive Director FTCLDF

Beef Cattle Herd photo licensed under the Creative Commons.

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John Moody

John Moody is a farmer, author, speaker, and interim Executive Director for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.