People are raising bees and chickens in record numbers. Vegetable gardens have increased an astounding 26% in two years. These people are not farmers. They have other jobs and a little land. Everything is done on a small scale. Eggs are sold in the neighborhood (that is where I get mine). Other people shop at farmers markets whose numbers are steadily increasing. Raw milk is more and more popular even while agri-business tries to shut them down. (Strange that a dairy business that is involved in feeding animals hormones, penning them up in giant lots in wretched conditions, who battle with E-coli bacteria in their products, and feed the cows corn when they need grass, would pressure small producers of raw milk on their lack of safety.) While large corporations and the government that sponsors them get bigger and bigger, the movement to smaller and closer is well under way. Why this phenomenon?
Organic food has come of age and, despite the best efforts of agri-business, the word is out and the food is healthier. I invite you to compare the color of an organic walnut with its bright tan and one grown with pesticides and its dark interior if you want visual, albeit non-scientific, proof. If you want scientific proof, check out the studies on the clear link between ADHD and pesticides in food. It is no shock that there is a link. The pesticides are designed to attack the nervous system of the insect.
Organic food is not the only reason the movement of small-scale agriculture is flourishing. There is the connection made between people in this endeavor that builds community. Go to a farmers market on a Saturday morning, a CSA on distribution day, or a local co-op and feel the pulse of life there. We are a herd species. We need each other economically and socially.
There are environmental reasons support local agriculture too. Why truck food in from the other side of the world when you can grow it near where you live? Why not support your own community? The air will be cleaner with less oil consumed, to boot.
Another reason for the change is fear. Corporations are not looking out for us, so we have to look out for each other. Food and energy prices can and have skyrocketed. Wars can disrupt supplies. Jobs are tenuous. Agri-business and their over-processed food are bad for our health. Environmentally-caused cancer is rampant. There is an intuitive feeling people have that the system may not be able to provide into the future. There are studies to back that feeling up. Peak oil, peak fish supply, peak uranium, peak copper, peak coal and other natural resources have reached their zenith and begun their decline. If we dont produce for our own needs, and cant control our appetites for material possessions shipped from far away, then we will be beholden to corporate entities to supply us. We will be forced to pay a high price while losing control over our lives. Corporations do not care about us. They cant help it. They are designed to behave the way they do.
We dont need a revolution to change things. Violence will solve nothing and the ruling class pays no attention to demonstrations. Elections cant change things much, as corporate money rules politicians. The best thing we can do is to withdraw our support from agri-business (and other dehumanizing production) by not buying what they offer. Support the local community: Vote with your wallet, with your labor, with your heart.