I caught this article on the web not long ago. Joel always has a unique, succinct way of writing, and although this piece is highlighting a piece of legislation he hopes will help the food/farm situation in Virginia, the topic is quite critical to all of us. It carries deep correlations to nearly every area of our lives, as our government is racing to steal all our freedoms away from us.
But as I’ve tried to figure out why people are so willing to give up their freedoms, I’ve come to realize it’s largely because they don’t use those freedoms anymore. We buy our food, we don’t grow it – so who cares if it’s illegal to grow tomatoes in our front yards?
Well, I thought Joel’s article was worth passing along; enjoy. (Follow this link if the type below is too small.)
Liberty Is Risky
Liberty is risky. When you let people make their own decisions and self-determine what they eat, decisions can be quite subjective. You even risk making bad decisions or allowing scofflaws to sell snake oil.
But is the answer government oversight on every decision? Does regulating every morsel of food insure its safety? Certainly not, as the number of food-borne illnesses and recalls attest. The truth is that a perfect system does not exist. Offering more freedom is risky, but so is complete governmental control. Government experts marched together telling the populace to eat trans-fats and carbs. The official USDA food pyramid probably did more to destroy America’s health than any other single official act.
Subjecting all food to bureaucratic intervention between producer and buyer simply insures that all food must please bureaucrats. That’s an important reality. Government regulators are subject to the same nature as anyone else. Politics, power, and prestige afflict all people, regardless of where they work.
Pleasing bureaucrats requires pleasing cultural orthodoxy. What happens when the orthodoxy is wrong? The heretics are burned at the stake nonetheless. Today, many of us dare to question the orthodoxy du jour.
Here is a sampling of today’s orthodoxy:
1. Chemicals are safe; compost is unsafe.
2. Mono-speciation is safe; multi-speciation is unsafe.
3. Sterile is safe; biologically active is unsafe.
4. People should not visit farms; people bring diseases.
5. My body belongs to the state; self-determination is unsafe.
6. People can’t be trusted; people in government can be trusted.
7. Local food can’t feed the world; we need concentrated animal feeding operations.
8. Sick animals are merely pharmaceutically disadvantaged; the terrain theory is nuts.
9. Food should be cheap; expensive food is elitist.
10. People are too stupid to make food decisions; bureaucrats must make all food decisions.