There are three reasons that Big Ag can’t compete with the small farm in the long-term:
- Research at the land grant universities in the United States is often funded by big agribusiness corporations, but consumers want fresh, organic food – not GMO, chemical-laden, mono-cropped refuse.
- Some of the most promising solutions don’t offer huge cash rewards to agribusiness, so it is possible that some of the most worthy farming practices and innovations are not getting adequately promoted – that is until you visit local businesses and farmer’s market serving up what consumers really want.
- Government interventions of mandates, grants, patent laws, and subsidies can dictate where momentum comes from for future farming practice choices. Farmer’s markets have grown by a whopping 76% in the past 8 years. No subsidy for GMO corn or soy, ethanol, or other Big Ag business can compete with that kind of growth.
Even though the USDA and EPA have shut down small farming co-ops in an attack against food sovereignty (since the organizations are infiltrated by Big Ag and biotech companies like Dow, Bayer, and Monsanto), people are flocking to organic food sources.
This doesn’t mean that some farmer’s markets aren’t still full of GMOs, though. Genetically modified ingredients find their way into every nook and cranny since so much of our acreage is now planted with GM seed. But by asking some simple questions such as: “is this certified organic” or ‘if not certified, was this food grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides/herbicides,” you can find out what you’re really buying. You can also get to know specific growers and farms in your area. Some even invite you to see their operations in person so that you know exactly how your food is grown.
You can also check out the National Resource Defense Council’s interactive Eat Local tool to try to get your food straight from the farmer. This way, you cut out the Big Food companies that jack up prices and charge extra for shipping, refrigeration, and putting stuff in your food you don’t want in it to begin with.
If you want to find a farmer’s market near you, you can check out the USDA’s listings, here. Just remember to be discerning when you shop. Or, you can check out organic.org’s site and click on your state to find a local food seller. Some larger chains like Whole Foods are listed, but so are smaller, farm to consumer markets, as well as co-ops.
If you can’t find a farmer’s market that sells organic in your area, there are also online retailers who deliver, such as:
Papa’s Organic: Fruit, vegetables, dairy, spice, etc.
Door to Door Organics: Serving only Colorado, Michigan, New York, Chicago and Kansas City
AzureStandard: Produce, bulk foods, dairy
Green Polka Dot Box: Offers GMO-free foods. I especially like their close-out closet for cheap organic foods. They are near their expiration date, but that just means to eat them as soon as they are delivered.
If you are tired of the GMO, non-organic, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG-laden foods they sell at your Big Box and big chain grocery stores, simply cut out the middle-man. Farmers markets, food co-ops, and online shopping is the way to get healthful, seasonal foods for less.
This article first appeared at NaturalSociety.com.