Omnivore’s Dilemma 123-276

“Everything eventually morphs into the way the world is.” Organic food is not what it originally intended to stand for. To one, organic includes descriptions such as pesticide-free, free range, humanely raised, healthier, so that consumers can gain a greater knowledge as to where his or her food comes from. But, organic food fell victim to the dominant corporations and the industry in general. Was it still organic coming from a factory farm? Do permissible additives and synthetics still qualify as organic? Is it okay for an organic operation to be run by conventional mega farms? Capitalism took over the naturalistic way of feeding ourselves, therefore undermining the term “organic.”

Pollan finds himself on Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia shadowing Joel Salatin. Salatin is different than any other farmer Pollan has met because he defines himself as a “grass farmer.” Salatin says that “we should call ourselves sun farmers” because grass is just the way to capture sunlight. He also does not associate himself with being an organic farmer, but rather “beyond organic” because of his true practices of becoming one with nature to produce the healthiest foods the right way. He gives his animals and plants all the credit because they are the ones who run the farm and he is just the conductor making sure that everything is in its right place at the right time. It all runs on one big cycle and nothing goes to waste. Pig compost feeds the grass, grass feeds the cows, cows feed the chickens all in a never ending cycle where everything is connected and cannot happen without every step.

Pollan noted that following the grass-chain was a very short route, with the majority of it being on Polyface Farm. This is important because Salatin does not ship his products long distance, does not sell into supermarkets and does not wholesale its food. Therefore, his buyers come to his farm in person to buy and pick out their chicken. He lets customers spy on the practices of maintaining the farm because it is important to see how their food is made and Salatin has no shame as to how he upholds Polyface. So, according to Pollan, shopping organically is a whole other game compared to shopping locally. Shopping locally helps the environment and ensures that we get foods that are in season. It implies that we have to enjoy preparing foods ourselves while taking the time out of our day to do it. Salatin concludes by saying that if enough people are educated and agree with this alternative food system, the industrial food chain could be overcome.