Joel Salatin on Knowing Your Farmer: “Link up with the tribe.”
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
This is a fantastic interview on the part of Dr. Mercola, with anarcho-farmer Joel Salatin. There are many great interviews with Joel ’round the web, but this interview is very different than the norm. In fact, one focus is around the spontaneous order of farm-to-food.
Joel brings up some great points about the problem of farmer’s markets: limited hours, bureaucracy and politics, space confinement, heavy costs (labor, time, equipment) for farmers to come to the market, etc. He, as a libertarian, is a huge advocate of small, local farmers and consumers using technology to gain independence from government and the omnipotent food oligarchy. Salatin discusses the use of virtual, electronic farmer’s markets, where electronic informational interfaces create economies of scale and efficiencies that the industrial machine currently employs.
I especially like the part where Joel talks about American culture being such that folks have been wanting to be liberated from the kitchen, and thus farmers have essentially met consumer demand and produced the junk in grocery stores today: ”Give me TV dinners, give me Velveeta cheese, and squirtable stuff … and breakfast cereals, Cheerios, Pop Tarts, and Cocoa Puffs.” Humans, he properly notes, have been “separated from taste and texture, and the old, historical nuances of food” which has given us a monstrous commodification of agriculture. The other side of that equation, which Joel doesn’t mention, is the government-subsidized industrial food oligarchy creating much of this consumer “demand” through subsidies, political pandering, growing the corporatocracy, and all of the other assorted schemes that further popularize and entrench the empowered establishment.
Joel, when talking about the importance of farm animals and their natural habitat, always likes to talk about the “pigness of the pig,” or the “chickenness of the chicken,” but what about the Joelness of Joel? This is some of his best work, right here in this interview, in a great setting with another valued libertarian, Dr. Joseph Mercola.
Joel correctly notes that, as a non-farmer and consumer, you need to network and “get linked up with the tribe that thinks differently.” I love that comment because I have my own informal tribes that I influence, one conversation (or one food purchase) at a time. More on that topic later.