By Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser
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Extra resources for Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future
Trying to put his menu together, Murphy, like Schmucker, spends hours every week making deals with individual farmers. By contrast, the manager of a nearby Friendly’s chain restaurant fills out one form online and sends it to a regional distribution centre in another state. “It takes me about five minutes,” says the manager, who did not want to be named. ”31 Halweil at the WorldWatch Institute says rebuilding the connection between farmers and local customers is key to establishing a viable alternative to industrial agriculture.
The essays in this book suggest new agricultural technologies and new business models. Some may prove important; others, a complete waste of time. You may agree with some of the arguments made in these pages, and vehemently disagree with others. All of them, however, present us with the opportunity to make choices. How we get our food today is by no means the only way to get it. Uniformity and conformity, a blind faith in science, a narrow measure of profit and loss, a demand for total, absolute control — these are the central values of the current food system.
He soon found that it was fairly easy to get local vegetables, though sometimes his menu had to be changed to reflect what was available. Meat, however, was more difficult. He managed to find farmers he could buy from, but processing the meat was another issue. The emergence of large food companies controlling the meat industry — four companies claim three-quarters of the North American meat market — had put small meat processors out of business. Murphy had no one to convert pigs into hams and bacon.