News From the Farm | June 29, 2015

A Midsummer’s Daydream

Fellow herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, I have a few words and thoughts to share. Take heed as you read this letter, because I mean for this Beet to ignite. A charge in my body pulses through me. No other thoughts invoke such a feeling in me. I cannot help that my hands, my mind, and my soul care so much about food! The pulse I have been charged with I feel I must share. Now more than ever the world must eat organic!  

Growing up on a farm I was thrown into the mud at a pretty young age. Watching my parents work so hard for what they believed in seemed so crazy to me then. However, not getting my parents full attention as a little tyke opened my awareness to the things I could feel around me. Ever since I was a baby, my hands always reached for the dirt.  I fell for it immediately. Most of my childhood pictures would confirm that I even had an appetite for it. Lucky for me the dirt I was holding was healthy, rich and clean.  In just a handful of that sweet soil I wasn’t aware of the trillions of bacteria happily living in it. Nor was I aware that the 100 trillion bacteria in my gut were probably the ones telling me to eat it! I believe that there is an evolutionary romance between our gut bacteria and those in the soil. Pesticides and Antibiotics are like the third wheel on this bacterial honeymoon.  We don’t need them – in fact, they are destroying our guts! Organic soil systems capture more carbon, use water more efficiently in droughts, and produce healthier disease-resistant crops – and all because it is good, organic dirt.  Buying organic is a vote for healthy soils.

We should all feel responsible for educating others about the food we eat. A broken food system won’t change unless everyone knows why we have to change. As a nation today, we are being crippled by many preventable diseases, most of which are directly related to the decisions we make about food. Americans are now spending more money on their health care bill than their food bill. Roughly $2.6 trillion dollars each year are spent fixing our health! Autism rates are climbing as fast as pesticide applications rates.  Some 200 million pounds of pesticides were applied in California alone last year.  This number will continue to grow as farmers use more GMO crops, which actually are increasing dependence and reliance on those pesticides.  They will continue to haunt and hinder us as long as that way of farming is supported. For a start, what if we all started only buying organic? We could nurse our population back to health and spend that $2.6 trillion dollars on more productive things. Our children are tomorrow’s leaders and their health will mean the health of our nation. Buying organic is a vote for healthy people.

Rather then wallow in agriculture’s despair, I ask that we unite in a cause. Food is critically bound to all aspects of our planet’s security, our national security, and our individual wellbeing. Your health is just as important as my health, as long as we both live on earth. The food we eat affects everything around us. Each bite you take is a chance to make a statement. Let’s support a system of agriculture that nourishes our health, not hinders it. Let’s talk to our neighbors about the importance of organic. Let’s tell our supermarkets that we want 100% organic on all the shelves. Let’s make California the first certified organic state. Organic CAN AND WILL feed our growing population and it will do so giving good health.

I still learn best when my hands are in the dirt. For that, I thank my parents. I want my kids to be able to grow up with strong, healthy dirt at their fingertips, too. Dirt that has a heartbeat, take a listen sometime!

— Rye Muller