Let’s Talk About an Agricultural Revolution



Nature’s womb is sore and swollen. Its dominant seeds are dissolving into dust before they have a chance to fight their way to light. They’re just pushing up daisies. We need a new plan.

We’re ripe for a revolution, and nothing turns faster than food.

It moves from farm to table in a secretive series of magi-cal steps that we rarely consider, so when Frank’s chicken patties have been deep-fried and frozen, we don’t eat our dinner while surmising about food supplies.

But my bowels can’t help but ask, “What am I eating?”

The shapes on my plate are only guesses, so I want to know from the source: where does this stuff come from?

“Local,” says Frank. Actually, Sysco’s mo-nopoly on the world does not mean sustain-able or delicious, even if it comes from around our backyard.

Here, in Sodexo-land, my Flex dollars only bend as far as the rubber carrots in my Coop salad.

Luckily, whenever I get to thinking So-dexo’s gone rigid with rules, it saves me the trouble and sends me on an all-expense paid mathematical journey to figure out the lim-its of my unlimited meal plan. I’ll tell you a shortcut: it doesn’t make sense.

A kid could drown in a sea of paper nap-kins, suffocate under the weight of permafrost patties and bury the Coop containers alive and witness their reincarnation on a nice beach va-cation in ten years.

I guess Colgate forgot to tell you – the landfill doesn’t let any oxygen under its wrapper and your eco-friendly garbage is just another wasted resource that costs the dairy farmers their pitiful profit this year.

So much for autocracy. We live in serfdom ruled by the King of Corn and we’re subsidizing his limousine all the way to the bank.

But Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge are not the Holy Trinity and those deflated prices are not heavenly mandates.

We as consumers and complainers have the right to – if not the money for – good food. The administration works hard, but a community doesn’t change without the urgency of its constituents.

It’s time to talk and to make reasonable, if unconven-tional, decisions about whether to shop at Price Chopper or Hamilton Whole Foods, whether to spend five dollars on a packaged container of hummus and pretzels at the Library Caf?e or to carry a snack to study or whether to overcome po-tential embarrassment and take that Chinese food contain-er to the Coop for round two or send another livelihood to the landfill.

Oh, but who wants to complain?

I think the most practical course we frus-trated humanists (I’d call us environmentalists, but that’s not really my reason; I have the ut-most respect for plastic) can take is to bottle up our anguish and use it to root ourselves even deeper into Colgate’s weakening foundation of diligence.

There are plenty of ways to exude the energy: keep a plant on your windowsill, consult with the Sustainability Coordinator, John Pumilio or warm up our baby compost pile by collecting scraps after events you plan.

Take a moment to think about whether greasy pizza boxes are recyclable (Hint: they are) and recycle them.

Don’t get discouraged. The world as a whole isn’t so lazy; we just have to combine our strengths and think of cleverer ways than stupidity to save the world.

A daunting task, but the heroic framework exists. You just have to sift through the trash to find it.

We’ll wade through the grief and reach a much greener pasture together.

Contact Nicole Halper at [email protected].