Thanks to the success of the locavore movement and media attention from films like Food, Inc. and books like Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, more people than ever are paying attention to where their food comes from and how it was raised.
They’re sick of government-subsidized industrial agriculture that has no respect for animals, workers, consumers, or the soil. “Cheap” food carries hidden environmental, social, and health costs that more and more people are unwilling to pay.
Food-activist and sustainable agriculture pioneer Joel Salatingoes “beyond organic” in his farming methods by observing and mimicking natural systems on his 500-acre Polyface Farm. Salatin isn’t afraid to passionately denounce the existing system—and he shows that you don’t need pesticides, cruelty, or genetic engineering to be successful.
Joel Salatin is fighting against America’s genetically-modified foods and for local subsistence farming.
Leading his crusade from the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, this anti-globalization messenger who dubs himself a “Christian Libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer” has become the face of healthy eating and agriculture.
“The desire from consumers to eat this kind of food is exploding,” Salatin said at his 500-acre (200-hectare) farm in Swoope, Virginia.
Small farmers’ markets — still scarce just a few years ago — are now in full swing in the United States.
The online Farmers’ Market Directory lists 5,274 markets across the country, a 13 percent rise from 4,685 a year ago. The number has grown by nearly 4,000 nationwide since 1994.
“Nobody trusts the industrial food system to give them good food,” said Salatin, surrounded by the many cows, pigs, turkeys, rabbits and chickens he raises in methods that remain unconventional in the highly-industrialized US agricultural sector.
“The distrust is very real.”