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“Until the system cannot sustain itself”

December 22, 2007

Have you ever thought about the food that you buy? Have you ever wished there were a way to buy differently, more conscientiously? Joel Salatin of Swoope, Virginia, is a libertarian farmer who goes beyond organic in his farming methods. His newest book, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal, explains that most of the methods he prefers at Polyface Farms are actually illegal.

As a blogger, I think about censorship in terms of the written word, but Joel Salatin knows about the censorship of farming methods. “The stronger a culture, the less it fears the radical fringe. The more paranoid and precarious a culture, the less tolerance it offers,” he explains in an article from 2003 published in Acres U.S.A., a newsletter for farmers. The full article, which has the same title as his 2007 book, can be read on-line to get a hint as to Joel Salatin’s worldview.

Those of us who would aspire to opt
out — both consumers and producers —
must pray for enough cleverness to
circumvent the system until the system
cannot sustain itself. Cycles happen.
Because things are this way today does
not mean they will be this way next year.
Hurrah for that.
Often, the greatest escapes occur at the
moment the noose becomes tightest. I’m
feeling the rope, and it’s not very loose.
Society seems bound and determined to
hang me for everything I want to do. But
there’s power in truth. And for sure,
surprises are in store that may make
society shake its collective head and begin
to question some seemingly unalterable
doctrines. Doctrines like the
righteousness of the bureaucrat. The
sanctity of government research. The
protection of the Food Safety and
Inspection Service. The helpfulness of the
When that day comes, you and I can
graciously offer our society honest food,
honest ecology, honest stewardship. May
the day come quickly.

I recommend that you find out if your local library carries any of Joel Salatin’s books, or click on the book cover in my sidebar to buy his latest from

Cow Christmas Ornament

This is a photo of a Christmas ornament that my mom got us at the Farm Bureau since my son is so enamored with moooo-cows. Happy holidays, and may your family be blessed with healthy food that nourishes the body and the spirit.

  1. ladonnamobile permalink
    December 22, 2007 12:50 pm

    Wow–I can’t wait to read this; thanks!

  2. colorblindcupid permalink
    December 22, 2007 5:17 pm

    Have you read Fast Food Nation? It scared the bejesus out of me, and we were eating largely organic before. I have to remind myself every time I eat a piece of meat that it’s *probably* not going to kill me or give me a prion disease, but we shouldn’t have to worry about that. The government control agencies are a joke. I was reminded of the horrors from FFN last night on the World News, they profiled a town in Iowa about immigration. They have an extremely large Mexican population, and I couldn’t figure out why until they mention in passing how there was a raid on the local meat packing plant and over 100 suspected illegal immigrants were taken into custody – all from the plant. That’s why their population is so high in such an odd location. What they make those people do is unconscionable – and we should be so scared to eat what comes out of those “factories” – for the health factor AND for the human rights violations that occur in getting it to us. The treatment of those works is something that is entirely unnecessary to process the food, and directly contributes to the conditions needed to cause contaminated food supplies.

    Okay – rant over.

  3. colorblindcupid permalink
    December 22, 2007 5:18 pm

    I meant “workers” – not works. Don’t type when mad. ha

  4. thecanvasgrey permalink
    December 22, 2007 6:55 pm

    The more enlightened the more wonder in how we survive at all! We are starting a garden in the spring. I will get this and read! I may have to become illegal!
    Thanks for sharing FW! Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family! I hope we get to see some Christmas morning faces via your site!

  5. December 23, 2007 10:36 am

    ladonnamobile, you’re welcome. Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

    CBC, I agree with you about the baggage that our food carries. The process of getting it from the “farm” (which is not even dignified enough to call it a farm) to our supermarket is horrid. I live in a town with many poultry processing plants. *shudder*

    CG, that’s great news about your plans to have a family garden. I’ll see what I can do about getting some Christmas morning photos. 😉

  6. January 7, 2008 5:13 pm

    There is one typographical error that I caught in the article “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal” published by Acres, U.S.A. which is subsequently corrected in the book. In the on-line article, Salatin says he can’t bring himself to mention the “U” word. What it should say is the “O” word, which stands for organic. I talked to him this afternoon (Jan 7, 2007) and he explained to me that it was just an error and there is no “U” word. 🙂

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