Here are a few scenes of the vendors at the festival
Photo by Peterphoto1390
Today I went to an Organic Food and Film Festival in Ocala, Florida. It was held on the grounds of the Ocala Civic Theater off Silver Springs Boulevard. This was not one of those occasions where I knew I would be exploring a beautiful place or discovering a new fine dining restaurant. If I have to admit why I went, I would have to say it was for purely selfish reasons – to continue on my quest for truthful information for myself and then to be able to pass it on to others.
For me, it started in September 2001 when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was one of the lucky ones and am grateful to be a survivor. But at the time, when I asked my doctor, why me, his answer was he didn’t know, just dumb luck. Then, shortly after, I spent some time with another doctor, who with homeopathic remedies, helped me rid my body of residual bone pain. But while with him he found that my body was toxic with high levels of petroleum. Now how did all of that petroleum get there? Was this all just a coincidence or was something else going on? I really don’t know. But those two incidents made me start to wonder.
I had a healthy lifestyle, ate good, nutritious foods or so I thought, until along comes my daughter, Jennifer, who has been a student of clean, healthy living and is on her own journey to building a sustainable,organic food source of her own. She and hubby Roberto have talked the talk and now are putting it into action at their new farm, Thistlemooon Meadows, in Vermont. In addition, she also had worked for years with the doctor who helped me with homeopathic treatments. She began making little adjustments to my food, supplements and all things related. Everything that she ever told to do has been spot on, and way before it was brought to general public awareness. Now she is teaching me about what is in the foods that I have been eating and showing me that there is a better way.
How long has it been since you have been able to just pick up an apple, without even washing it, and know with absolute certainty that it wasn’t pumped full of pesticides, which can be oil based, poisonous or genetically modified? If I had known what I was eating, do you think I would have eaten it? The fact is that I was actually polluting my own body without my knowledge or my consent.
The Department of Agriculture has set up standards to which food that is labeled Certified Organic must adhere. You can know that if it is labeled as such that there is no irradiation, no sewage sludge, no hormones, no genetic modification, no antibiotics and no pesticides. (By the way as a side note, less than 1% of insects are harmful. The rest have a job to do and when any of them are killed off with a pesticide, the eco balance is disrupted.)
Now, that I know better, not only did I want to go to review this festival, I felt it my moral obligation to go.
Photo by Dave G. Kelly
The first time I went was to the one that was held there in January. Since then, it has grown from just having a hand full of vendors to so many that they had to open the grounds and move it outdoors. I learned where I can join a CSA and where I can pick certified organic berries and fruit. I was able to get a list of resources so that I can continue my learning and I will pass them on to you at the end.
The highlight for me was the films. If you do nothing more than watch these three films, you will never look at food the same way again.
“Food, Inc” exposes what’s behind large scale industrial farming. A real wake up call. I was terrified and horrified!!!
“The Future of Food” graphically shows how our food is being genetically modified and how supermarkets are being led to stock these fake foods. It also tells how just a few huge food corporations are trying to control the world’s foods and farms.
“What’s Organic About Organic” is the light at the end of the tunnel by striving to show the greener side of chemical-free pastures. Marty Mesh, co-producer, was on hand to educate and to answer all of our questions at the end, which were many.
Here I am with Marty Mesh after screening of “What’s Organic about Organic”.
Now, I make no claims at being any kind of expert. I am not a scientist or a doctor. And I don’t know all the answers. I am just like everyone else, just trying to sort it all out. But I am convinced that now is the time to let everyone know what is really going on. There is power in knowledge and I feel like I owe it to myself and to future generations to get this figured out now.
Start asking yourself the tough questions? Why is food being genetically modified and why can’t we know which ones are? Why do only 4 companies hold monopolies on seeds and how are they controlling their (not our) interests in putting the farmers out of business with their lawsuits. Why does the government support the interests of these monopolies? Why, since the advent of the Nitrogen bomb, nerve gas and DDT among others, have these poisons found there way in diluted forms into pesticides – then into our food, animals, air and water and finally us? Why are 97% of the vegetables that were grown up until the 20th century, now extinct? Why are big companies even allowed to patent seeds and then sue anyone who doesn’t use them or who uses them without paying them – even if the farmer never planted the seed to start with and only got some by wind contaminating their crops? Why are cows given human antibiotics or hormones? Why is the government subsidizing farmers ( really a GMO rebate) with tax payer money? Why is the US selling GM corn to Mexico cheaper than they can grow their own? Why has Japan decided to not use chemicals and to just watch the children in the US for ten years to see if they get sick? What were the loopholes that big dairy farms tried to use to get around being called grass fed and what has been done about it? Is it really true that organic farmers could never keep up with the food demand over the farms that are forced to use what I will call tainted seeds? Who in the government is watching out for US? The FDA, The Department of Agriculture and the EPA are tasked with this job. Who is watching to see that they are really protecting our interests over those they shake hands with?
Like I said, you really MUST see these films.
And with all of that, what can you do? Is it as hopeless as it seems? Is it true there is no point is even trying to go up against all of that? The answer is NO. There is plenty we can do. Isn’t this the time of the “Yes, we can” campaign? It is a moral and ethical issue and we should be able to have a say in what we eat. Change is actually coming. Do we want real farming or “Pharming”?
How about you? Here is what you can do right now:
- Join a CSA
- Go to you local Farmer’s Market
- Read labels
- Cook seasonally
- Compost your food scraps
- Plant a garden
- Vote with every bite
- Buy what is Certified Organic (hint: all natural is NOT organic) People say they don’t buy organic because it costs too much. My answer is eat less and maybe obesity will go away – and so will so many doctor bills!!
- Be a student and empower yourself with knowledge
- Pass this on to those you care about
Here are a few resources for your information:
Trade Show on all things organic
The Future of Food free viewing of film
Organic Buying Club Ocala-Lady Lake, Fl area
Workshops or farm tours by Florida Organic Growers
I would love to hear what your opinions are. Please share some of your knowledge and experiences so we can all be healthy together.