“I don't think the city really cares about food issues.”
Danny Mayer of North of Center
I, on the other hand, am sure that this city's residents do not feel that there are any real food issues to care about. As a whole, this city believes that food availability will be provided as it has through history, yet history is a poor prognosticator of future events.
Reading further in Danny's comments, it becomes crystal clear that he is wanting some action from out City government to compel food production for the poor or, at least, publicly purchased food to be distributed at little or no cost to the poor. I find this to be against even our Founding Fathers' concepts for our country.
I know that people in Lexington do not concern themselves with the possible long-term effects of global warming/climate change or the idea of Peak Oil. Private enterprise has always solved these problems and will do so again – but at what cost and to whom? It is what they think that our country was founded upon.
Private enterprise in America at the time of the Revolution was of the small, family owned variety and not the large multi-national corporations of today, especially when it came to food production. Government saw no need to force or limit food production until the large corporations got into the act. What was necessary was the freedom of farmers to farm and production was naturally limited by what they could sell. Frugal farmers would not expend the energy to produce more than a small portion above that distributed.
Today, our small, family owned farms are producing more than enough for themselves and a growing following of CSA members and loyal, farmers market enthusiasts. Many of them do it organically or with a minimum of chemical additives. Most of this food is priced accordingly and above corporately produced food. Most obvious of all is that these small farms cannot feed all of Lexington, regardless of ability to pay.
During the Second World War, small backyard and neighborhood “Victory” gardens were touted as a way to aide the war effort and stave off starvation. That time also saw the wide-spread use of family owned neighborhood grocers. It may well be that these two elements were the vital parts which enabled the country to get through that time. I worry what will happen if there is a next time, when these elements are missing.
I see some opportunities to create some of these neighborhood gardening locations (without impinging on public parkland) and locating some “pop-up” style markets within short reach of our residential areas. I think that more opportunities need to be thought of and allowed.
Now is the time to prepare. I do not think that we are prepared so I can only echo Danny.
“I don't think the city (or the country) really cares about food issues.”