NO WE CANNOT. But we have also taken them for granted. We can have all the money in the World but if we cannot find food to eat, that money is just worth the value of the paper in our toilet tissue. We have literally forgotten our farmers. They are the lost souls of any country and often the unsung heroes who often work behind the scenes. They often toil day in and day out to bring out a rich harvest. Plants don’t just grow. It need to be planted first, attended to, fed on time, watered adequately and then harvested with care to prevent wastage. Most food waste starts during harvest where 1/3 of the harvest is thrown out due to stringent specification requirement put forth by the supermarkets to satisfy their customers.
Would you purchase a misshapen carrot or a disfigured orange? This is where it all begins. Nature creates fruits and vegetables naturally as nature intends it to. But as Humans we need to see the carrot conical in shape or an apple reddish looking with a gloss finish. We also expect these to be of the same size and the exact taste no matter where we purchase them from. These requirements and expectations puts enormous stress within the entire supply chain from the top to the bottom.
Farmers are the most overworked and the mostly underpaid of all trade groups. In many countries farmer suicides are on the rise. It not only affects the individuals family, but also affects entire generations. Due to the fact that they are unable to find a way out, they succumb to the dark side of the farming business. Like in any business, the middleman always wins. Farming is no exception. As technology advances, farmers are forced to mass cultivate using the latest technology which costs them even more each year in infrastructure expenditure. And with costs of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc creeping up year over year, these farmers are living life on the brink of poverty. There is ample evidence to support this and it is very sad to see this happening in all the countries all over the World. With costs rising every single day, farmers have to cut their rations somewhere. This ends up in the laps of their own families who bear the burden.
Farmers are the life line of our society. Without whom we would all be standing on lines for food. Mass cultivation is a boon and a curse. Mass cultivation requires millions of acres of land. To create this open space, we need to cut down trees. The same applies to cattle farms, poultry farms and mega factories. This cuts down on our oxygen supply which needs daily replenishment. For this to be effective planting more trees are not the solution but to hold on to existing ones. The problem is we cut down mature trees first to exploit them and then we decide to plant saplings. In turn we must be planting saplings at least 5 years prior to our plans of taking a tree down. Cutting down mature trees daily with no intention of ever replacing them also creates famine and destruction to many around the World.
Mass production not only destroys, but also creates. It gives us unlimited supply of food at very cheap prices. Cheap food prices make it affordable for the poor who are trying to see another light of the day. For them it’s a daily struggle for survival. On the other hand most throw out food without ever giving it a thought. Each grain of rice is created by nature with much more effort than we can imagine. The weather also plays a major role. it also requires the knowledge of a farmer, his tender hands, his efforts and his patience before it can make it to your plate.
Today we are able to get any type of food which we want or desire, presented on our table in front of us at a moments notice. How is this possible? Efficient logistics, transportation, supply chain management and time management are some of the few factors which makes it happen. Today we import more food than what we export bringing in billions of dollars in revenue each day. But this benefits only a few. When we import food, it also affects the native farmers of their sole revenue, which is local farming. But the big players can import in greater volumes, demand the lowest wholesale prices, ship across oceans at a discount and bring it to markets across the World by demanding their terms. The small farmer does not have a chance. He or she gets crushed.
Support you local farmers. Give them a chance to feed you fresh food. Since it’s locally grown, you already know the source. You will build a relationship with him or her. They can give you information on what is available at which time of the year. They may even know you by your name. The best of all, you are helping them feed their family and at the same time they are feeding yours. Keep it fresh and keep it simple.