This editorial is written on the Facebook of White Oak Pastures, located in Bluffton, GA, 20 miles from Sue Strickland's hometown of Ft. Gaines, GA. Will Harris is a 4th generation cattle farmer.
His story is, to put it mildly, unique. He is recognized as one of the most responsible, innovative, progressive and leading edge environmentalist ranchers in the world. His accent, which you can find on countless videos, is phenomenal. I am proud to call Will a friend. I think you will find his position, detailed briefly below, relevant – underlines below are mine:
The food production, processing, and delivery system in our country is badly broken. It has become almost entirely monopolized and globalized. It is a risk to not only our food security, but to our national security. This essential system that feeds us has not been resilient for many years. This pandemic has made its weaknesses obvious to all of us.
We have previously seen evidence of our food system's fragility. Hurricanes, and floods, and riots, and other natural and man made disasters have shown us it's frailties. But the scale of this medical disaster has shown how dependent we are on an undependable essential service. Undependable and essential should not be used to describe the same noun.
We have long had proof of our food system's degradation of our land, pollution of our waters, and poisoning of air that we breath. We know of the pain and suffering that it has brought upon our livestock. We have measured its impact on our climate. It has unquestionably impoverished rural America.
But we have ignored or forgiven all of this, because we Americans are hopelessly addicted to obscenely cheap food. We have ignored the incredible damage that has been perpetrated so that Wall Street, and Silicon Valley, and a few multinational companies could become richer. We ignored harm in the same way that a drug addict refuses to recognize the depravity of their drug dealer in order to get their fix.
I hope that no hungry person has to wait for their beef to be brought 10,000 miles on an ocean going freighter from Uruguay, or Australia, or even Namibia.
Well, the weaknesses are now all pretty undeniable. What are you gonna do to help change it?
White Oak Pastures