What is Food Freedom?

If you Google Food Freedom you will find lots of articles about your relationship with food. Most are about eating healthy and recovering from a destructive relationship with food. This isn't exactly what I mean by Food Freedom, but the message that you control what you eat, it doesn't control you, does resinate with me. Let's take that one step farther - I control my food, no one controls it for me.


The problem is, nearly all our food IS controlled by someone else.


First, there are those that control our food as a money making proposition. The business mind inside me long thought food producers and distributors would be hurt if they gave subpar products to their consumers. What I didn't take into account was that our food was so slowly corrupted that we didn't notice. We grew accustomed to minor changes year after year until we were eating pasteurized non-fat milk with a steak containing six different hormones. Yes. Six. There are six different hormones approved for use in the commercial production of beef in the United States.


Make way for the organic money maker. Producers pay astronomic prices to become organic certified. If they can't fund that up front, they lose the benefit of charging more for their products. Meanwhile distributors and retailers reap the rewards either way - quality products at a steal or organic products they can sell with a 400% mark up.


Now don't confuse me for someone who thinks science has no place in food. It does. Hybrid plants and breeding for desirable traits in livestock are important. We cannot feed ourselves planting tomatoes that are unproductive or breeding chickens that don't produce a lot of meat. Every time I hear someone say hormones in meat are safe, I want to scream "you cannot believe that!" Look no further than the constantly dropping average age of puberty onset. Taste no further than the difference in a commercial piece of beef and that of a pasture raised cow.


I said first, so I must be getting to my second point. Who else is controlling our food? The government. Before you get out your tinfoil hat, hear me out. I won't go down the FDA rabbit hole, but suffice it to say, I don't think people controlling our food should be the same people controlling pharmaceuticals. My bigger issue is with smaller government, specifically county and local government. More and more, we are seeing restrictions on personal level farming. In our own township, someone with four acres could not use their property to produce the milk, eggs, and chickens needed to feed a family of four.


Why are we seeing these restrictions? Some will say it's because the government wants us to be dependent. Dependent people are compliant people. Call me naive, but I am not that much of a conspiracy theorist. I think big business farming dependency evolved from a cycle. Step one of the cycle was when we as a species began migrating to cities (and then suburban developments), doing work we though was more meaningful than producing food. As this migration happened, people took advantage of food conveniences and eventually looked at their neighbors' cow/chickens/goat as an archaic, noisy, smelly eye sore.


The other aspect of these small government regulations is, you guess it, money. Four acres owned by one person with one house produces less tax revenue than two people with two acres and two houses, and even less than four people in four houses on one acre each. "Nicer" neighborhoods drive up property values and in turn produce tax revenue based on increased residency or higher taxes.


Who is controlling your food?