[Ok-sus] We need a cash mob for our local producers
bwaldrop1952 at att.net
Mon Sep 3 12:37:44 CDT 2012
This has been a very hard summer for Oklahoma's local food producers and
its non-food producers. Let's make the situation a little better with a
cash mob for local production!
As you may know, a cash mob is a group of people who decide to get
together and spend twenty dollars at a local enterprise, as a way of
showing their love and support.
So could we maybe have a cash mob for Oklahoma producers --- the farmers
and ranchers and non-food product producers this month? This is not
directed at the people who are already regularly supporting their
neighborhood economy by buying from local farmers and non-food
producers at farmers markets, farm stands, and the Oklahoma Food
I want to reach out to the many people who don't buy from farmers every
month and ask them -- could you spend $20 in September?
You could go to one of our farmers' markets or you could order something
from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. Two pounds of really great tasting
ground beef and a few bars of some artisanal soap would be about twenty
bucks and if a few thousand people decided to do that, it would make a
If you are new to local foods, and eat meat, ground meats are the best
place to start. There's quite a bit of it available and there is a
serious difference in quality between ground meats from local producers
and the mystery ground meats you get in the big box stores. Scientific
studies have found that supermarket ground meat may have DNA from as
many as 100 different animals from several different states. Many
supermarket chains add the infamous pink slime
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime> to their ground meat. By law,
up to 15% of the ground meat can actually be pink slime and the store
doesn't have to say a thing about the adulteration of the beef to the
Local artisan soaps are also great value. Yes, they cost more per bar,
but the bars way outlast the cheap soaps sold in stores.
So how about it, folks, can we get some love for local producers this month?
The Oklahoma Food Coop in particular has a lot of members who don't
order regularly. The Oklahoma Food Cooperative has been losing money for
two years, and a lot of that challenge has been climate related. The
drought has impacted local production and that impacts our sales. We
are an important retail market for more than 100 local Oklahoma
producers of food and non-food items. Other, more commercial stores,
may brag about their local commitment, but when you go and look at their
shelves, you'll see products from maybe at most a half dozen producers,
and nothing much at all in the meat department.
Meanwhile. . . as close as your local web browser. . . The Oklahoma Food
Cooperative has an incredible selection of food and non-food items from
more than 100 different local producers, as do our local farmers' markets.
If we want a more sustainable, just, and humane system of agriculture,
then there must be a market for the products of a more sustainable,
just, and humane system of agriculture. That means that people have to
be willing to reach into their pockets and pay for the products of a
more sustainable, just, and humane system of agriculture production.
Good intentions matter for nothing if not backed with action. Good
intentions will not stop global warming, change our system of
agriculture, or preserve rural communities. Indeed, the road to
ecological collapse is paved with good intentions.
No, the local production shopping system isn't as convenient as a big
No, the prices aren't as cheap as a big box store. Here's three reasons
why the prices aren't as cheap --
* Local producers don't torture their animals by cramming them into
small spaces and feeding them unnatural diets and treating them roughly.
* Local producers don't adulterate their foods with cheap fillers like
pink slime <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime> and industrial
* Local producers don't externalize their costs onto their neighbors
with their smelly sewage lagoons and pollute their ecosystems with
noxious odors emanating from concentrated animal feeding operations..
So yes, the price is not dirt cheap. Local farmers can't externalize
costs like the big guys. But the problem with those externalized costs,
which show up as cheap groceries in big box stores, is that the costs
never go away. Eventually they will be paid, with interest, and we won't
like it at all when those bills are presented.
Supporting local agriculture production and artisanal non-food products
is one of the most important actions any of us can do to grow a more
sustainable Oklahoma and make a better future for ourselves and all we love.
If you aren't in the habit of buying from our growing local producer
community, September is the month for you to join the cash mob and put
your twenty bucks down on the table in support of local groceries, local
artisanal body care products, and other local non-food production.
Visit the Oklahoma Food Cooperative! <http://www.oklahomafood.coop>
Find anOklahoma Farmers' Market! <http://okgrown.com/markets/>
Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
Note my NEW email addresses, effective 5-15-12: bwaldrop1952 at att.net and bob at bobwaldrop.net.
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