Joel Salatin on the "O" Word & Feeding the World
We are very happy to welcome back Joel Salatin to the Speakeasy at Wanderlust California to discuss the challenges of today’s farming system and the way to “feeding the world.” Salatin, owner of Polyface Farms in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, is a third generation organic farmer who is a key contributor to revolutionizing farming and how we eat. In a recent interview with Reno press, he shared some surprising insight about organic and local farming, GMOs, and what we can do to help.
Though common belief is that buying organic is the way for avoiding GMOs and harmful chemicals, Joel clarifies that organic is not always the solution, as it can be harmful to the environment.
“I don't use the 'O' word because it is now owned by the government. So I'll just say integrity food and farming for sake of discussion…We're still wrestling with organic. Industrial organic is not the answer, and much of government organics is now extremely industrial,” explains Joel.
Instead of industrial organic, buying local is the answer, cutting out transportation costs, pollutants and bettering the community, “local food systems build community--economically, emotionally, and ecologically. Local integrity food build soil, is aesthetically and aromatically sensually romantic, and respects the pigness of pigs.”
“[Polyface Farms] does not participate in the government organic licensing program, choosing rather to use the term "beyond organic" to describe our pastured livestock approach. Most organic livestock is still not raised on pasture.”
When asked about how he feels about GMOs and the enforcement of labeling, Salatin gave another surprising reply, "We don't need labeling laws...All we need is to enforce the most fundamental cornerstone of civilization: you may swing your fists anywhere, but they can't touch my nose. Humans should not be manipulating DNA to create new life forms. These are beings that nature has erected multitudinous barriers against occurring. Those who develop and own these beings should be held accountable for property trespass when those beings adulterate someone's property who doesn't want those beings on it."
The good news? There is a way to properly feed the world with action. “Not only can and integrity system actually feed the world; it's the only system that can…So roll up your sleeves and participate in this great privilege: healing the planet one bit at a time.”