Guest Author - Arrow Durfee
Broken limbs Movie Review
Here I go again… harping on agriculture and the production of food.
And I will continue to do so until this nation startes to support the production of food that is healthy for your stomach. In a nation where obesity is an epidemic, addictions to chemicals in food rules, the onslaught of diabetes and cancer is epidemic, the poisoning of our waters with herbicides overwhelming, one must face the reality that you are what you eat and what people in the USA eat is largely dangerous and causing chronic and deadly disease.
This documentary explores the conflict between the small farmer and corporate agriculture and presents a game plan for the small farmer to survive and grow through the development of sustainability.
Corporate agrciulture is not considered sustainable by organic producers because of its wear and tear on the soil, the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and pesticides and the uncertain realiites of genetically modified foods. Along with corporated agriculture comes the removal of food production from local areas. Things are produced on huge farms far away, and more often in foreign nations.
The small farm is what made America what it is and that may be hard to understand if you were born and raised in the city. Local and sustainable agriculture fed this nation and was an economic basis for almost two centuries. In 1900 38% of US citizens made a living on the farm. Today less than 2% of Americans make a living off the land. The question is posed, is this a market correction or a market mistake.
International trade corporate production of fresh food products is crippling our nations capability for small and local farmers to supply food to our very own people within their neighborhoods and states. Foods from Chile, China, and many other countries who can produce at a fraction of the price due to the economic realites of those nations economically are driving the small producer into the ground. Large food distribution centers do not want to deal with the small farmer and these large mega farms and ranches produce food that is questionable in quality and certainly not sustainable nor organic in the vast majority of cases.
Theis film focuses on the apple capital of the world, Wentchee, Washington, known as the Apple Capitol of the Nation, and how the international and large corporate trade on apples destroyed the local economy. Due to market forces which dictate that all those involved in the marketing and transporting of apples gets a fixed rate the small farmer has been run out of business. With competition from outside of the USA the US apple farmer could not compete because after paying all the fixed rates to those who move apples. There isn’t enough cash left to support the farm. When the competiion is against third world countries and their mega farms who pay little and work within a different different economic structure the US farmer has been run out of business.
Farmers in the US commit suicide up to 4 times the national average.
With the advent of the concept of sustainable agriculture small farmers are starting to re-organize and produce quality food to sell locally or to speciality businessess such as natural food markets.
The New American Farmer works with the three cornerstones of Sustainable Farming:
Ecologically sound practice
The New American Farmer should be a steward and a student of the land… builiding new relationships with other farmers and with their customers with the three cornerstones of farming supporting the work.
Developing the connection between the farmer and the consumer can assure that the food that people eat is wholesome, fresh and hopefully organic.
I have hit some of the main ideas presented in the film but you will fully understand your responsibility, as a citizen, and as a consumer and as someone who loves food, within the chain of sustainability of our food industries after you watch this film. You will see a new horizon of hope for our nation and the quality of the food we can and will eat, returning us to a more healthful lifestyle in more ways than one.
Broken Limbs is found streaming on Netflix and for free on youtube: