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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Farm Bill and eating local barter

Now this is what I like to see;

FOR Americans who have been looking to Congress to reform the food system, these past few weeks have been, well, the best of times and the worst of times. A new politics has sprouted up around the farm bill, traditionally a parochial piece of legislation thrashed out in private between the various agricultural interests (wheat growers versus corn growers; meatpackers versus ranchers) without a whole lot of input or attention from mere eaters.

Not this year. The eaters have spoken, much to the consternation of farm-state legislators who have fought hard — and at least so far with success — to preserve the status quo.

Americans have begun to ask why the farm bill is subsidizing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at a time when rates of diabetes and obesity among children are soaring, or why the farm bill is underwriting factory farming (with subsidized grain) when feedlot wastes are polluting the countryside and, all too often, the meat supply. For the first time, the public health community has raised its voice in support of overturning farm policies that subsidize precisely the wrong kind of calories (added fat and added sugar), helping to make Twinkies cheaper than carrots and Coca-Cola competitive with water. Also for the first time, the international development community has weighed in on the debate, arguing that subsidized American exports are hobbling cotton farmers in Nigeria and corn farmers in Mexico. I highly encourage you to read the rest of it here>>>>>>


We need to keep the pressure up until it is no longer in our hands, click here to find out how to contact your state senators, not just about NAIS which these major food corps love, but the other BS that puts more money into their pockets.


People have already begun to talk about eating local for their Thanksgiving meal. You can find the original 100 mile diet here.


It can be difficult to make a typical traditional meal with only local ingredients. You have to get inventive. But you also need to do a little searching. Most your ingredients can be found locally. And then again, who says you have to have a turkey for Thanksgiving? As those of you that have read my article know, some people do ham, or even fish.


The biggest problem I have seen, or at least the one I get the most emails about, is local flour. Where and how do I find it? A web search can usually yield a result or two, and sometimes nothing at all. Basic rolls and desserts are hard to make without flour. So I am willing to make you a deal. We are going to barter. Those of you determined to make a local dinner but are unable to find flour, leave me a comment telling me what it is. I will do 1 of 2 things. First try to find you an alternative to your flour needs, failing that I will barter 1 of your abundant local food items for wheat. {this of course is purely imaginary barter} What will happen is that for every person I trade with, I will make one dish from that persons local food item. If you live in Washington State, and you need flour and are willing to trade me apples, I will make apple pie {see how this works, plus there are no local apples now because of the late hard freeze we had this year, so I need apples!} If I end up making 100 dishes, so be it, we like leftovers here.


And if it isn't flour you need, I have honey, sunflower seeds and oil as well as pecan. Think of this as emission credit trading.


So whose game? Of course I have a feeling that no one will. ~wry grin~


Oops, before I forget, Natures' Wheat and King Aurthur are made with Kansas wheat.


12 comments:

MommyMommy said...

Wow, that is amazing! I think bloggers like you have helped move this into the publics eye a great deal. My family has been dreaming and planning on homesteading/ farming to some degree for years, yet I had never heard of NAIS till reading your blog. Thanks for helping to open americas eyes to the small farmer, you are benifiting many who wouldn't even have known what they were loosing.

Phelan said...

You are welcome. I didn't know about it either until last year, and it was going on for years before that.

Anita said...

We have a flour mill within 100 miles of our home - Hudson Cream Flour...We buy it's flour in our stores... But unless we want to buy a whole hog or whole beef, there is no meat locally... Not much of anything else, either... We do buy honey and eggs within 100 miles of our home...
Other than that... oh,occasionally we were able to buy from someone who had a few tomatoes, or squash over the summer... The tornado wiped out our garden this year, or we would have been set for the winter... :(

Phelan said...

I forgot about Hudson Cream. Thank you for reminding me. Have you checked with a Locker about your meat needs? I would think you would have one somewhere close because of hunting.

Antof9 said...

Thansk for this post, Phelan! I started scanning it in my RSS feed on LJ, and had to come here and read the whole thing more slowly :)

This is all such good information. And you've reminded me that last year I wanted to ask for a local turkey, if possible, but it was too late. I'm definitely going to research it now.

Phelan said...

Anita, did you want to barter? I will give you a food credit for a meat product and remove the flour from one of my dishes. Deal? ha it makes my life a tad harder ;)

Go ant!

The Fool said...

A doff of the hat to you, Phelan. You have done much to raise awareness and incite action among others with regard to the many issues touched on here. Keep up the good fight.

Gina said...

I found flour made about 50 miles away and sold at an old fashion general store (Amish store in the area) about 12 miles away. I need to get back there, actually, because my bag is almost gone! I'll have to think about what I can't get around here (although if it is high fructose corn syrup you need, no problem...:-(

Thanks for the linked story.

I'm glad you didn't stop talking about NAIS & the Food Bill like so many others seem to have done on their own blogs. Your information is priceless and still reaching new people!!!

Wren said...

I'm not cooking a meal this year, so I won't take part in the 100 mile meal.

However, I do have a yard full of pecans. If someone wants to do a virtual trade for pecans, I will trade for something I can use--maybe cranberries or some kind of fruit?

Am I doing this right, Phelan?

Stephanie said...

Being from a state that ranks 46th in agricultural production, I am afraid we don't have much to offer. Unless you homestead it would be very difficult to find all your food with in a 100 miles from here. It would be even harder for those in Southern WV I would think.

From our own place I could offer rabbit, and hopefully venison.

abbagirl74 said...

Phelan, if you are taking off to go anywhere to find products, give me a call if you want company. I will be working from now until Thanksgiving, but may be able to steal some time away. Also, if I can help you find anything at your "favorite" local city grocer, do let me know. :)

Phelan said...

The Fool, just remember your promise. ;)

Gina, well I don't need any high fructose corn syrup, but when you think of something else, let me know. And as for other bloggers stopping, it gets scary when certain mega corps and the gov start showing up on your stat counters. I can see why people get scared.

Wren yes ma'am you are correct.

Stephanie, trade offer latest post. Accept?

Abba, I will probably head into Yoder in the following weeks. I will give you a call when I decide when I am going for sure. We need to stop and have some pie :D

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