ALIGN | Issue No. 20


Greetings,

There is scarcely anything so essential—from which we are now so alienated—as food.

Corporate mergers, factory farming, and heavily processed products have distanced most consumers over the past several decades from the agriculture that keeps us fed. 

But Americans are growing more interested in improving the sourcing, quality, and freshness of their food. Prizing these elements should not be portrayed as the frivolous interests of self-styled elitists. As consumers, reclaiming our knowledge of and proximity to the agriculture that produces plentiful and nutritious food is a vital component of a more human way of life.

Sourcing locally goes beyond the peace of mind of knowing your food’s origin story. Knowing someone (or being someone) in your area who can directly supply the necessary basics such as meat, potatoes, milk, or eggs can add a dimension of security, given corporate mammoths’ reliance on highly complex — and increasingly highly vulnerable — supply chains to keep stores stocked.

There are many practical steps one can take to move toward a more dignified food supply.

Help us reach everyone who knows a better way is possible. Please forward this issue to them, or sign them up.

The Better Alternative

Kroger, a grocery company that serves many parts of the country, has developed an odd fixation on coercing employees’ obedience to particular beliefs. Read this feature exposing “Kroger’s 24-page guide to being a woke cashier and shelf-stocker.”

Many Kroger customers who don’t agree with this may not have the luxury of shopping at a different grocery store entirely. And Kroger employees must tolerate this offensive political crusade because their livelihoods depend on it.

If possible, we should avoid grocery companies that believe indoctrination is an essential component of their mission. Shoppers could investigate Local Harvest, a guide to local farmers’ markets, farms stands, and CSA’s (Community-Supported Agriculture) to identify nearby alternatives for seasonal fresh products. You may even find like-minded suppliers who would be happy to turn you into a year-round customer.

No solution is perfect at this point, but there are creative and practical options to fund more of what we like and less of what we don’t.

If you know of a business that shares your values, let us know so we can spread the word!

Business Spotlight

Bakers and cooks may be especially interested in Lindley Mills, an “organic specialty flour mill and mix manufacturer,” family-run for ten generations.

Their Graham, North Carolina mill is still located at the original 1755 site — which happened to be the scene of a dramatic Revolutionary War battle.

Lindley Mills offers a wide variety of flours in bulk and regular sizes, including sprouted whole grain “super sprout” flour, rye, spelt, and bread flour, as well as cake flour, grits, and muffin mix.

Source: Lindley Mills Facebook

Do you know a business or business owner that should be featured in ALIGN? Let us know!

The Bigger Picture

This review of Christopher Leonard’s book, The Meat Racket, expounds a number of drawbacks to the highly centralized, corporate meat industry. The reviewer doesn’t seem to understand why the author would possess “an almost overwhelming nostalgia for the small farms of yesteryear,” but the issues laid out in the book make it clear why many consumers feel compelled to seek more local sourcing:

“The critical question isn’t whether there is money in agriculture, but rather where the money goes,” he writes. “Consumers pay more, farmers make less, and corporations in the middle grab a windfall.” Toward the end of his book, he writes that the agricultural sector in this country is now producing record profits, “but the existence of those profits only told half the story . . . if record profits were being made, who got to keep them?”

Source: R-Calf Website

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