Occupy Food - OPINION
BrianLuedtke
blued692@uwsp.edu
What would happen if the Occupy Wall Street movement, the local food movement and the environmental movement merged? Imagine producing sustenance for yourself, living happily and healthily.
 
The concept is a simple one, one that reaches back to our ancestors of yesteryear. The answer is simple: to work together with your friends, family and neighbors to collectively thrive by producing our food, fuel and fiber locally. Community-supported agriculture used to create jobs, keep money local--oh, and feed everyone.
 
Of course it isn't practical to go only local and stop all trade, but why shouldn't it be? If all the things you need to live a happy, healthy life can be generated locally, what else is needed? Inevitably, with climate change and ecocides, some communities will thrive and others will falter. When one community is down, one with a surplus should help. That golden rule might be on to something.
 
If all of life's necessities are taken care of locally, we will no longer rely on multi-national corporations that outsource jobs to countries due to the costs of dealing with environmental constraints and labor. Sure we “need” them now, but only because they tell us we need them in the thousands of advertisements we are blind-sided with every day.
 
Simply going back to the land, bare-foot munching on nuts and berries--quite a novel idea, isn’t it? Let's be real; we can't all quit our jobs and start farming but we can do other things, simple things to make a difference. Yes, this means change, but change is inevitable either way if you think about it. Today is different from yesterday and tomorrow brings a new today. The world as we know it is changing, transforming, re-configuring in ways that we can only grasp at understanding.
 
However, change can mean many things. Change is a haircut. Change is an out-of-body experience. Change is a lobotomy. Change is altering habits. Change is what is left when all the cash is gone. We need to forget the past which constrains our idea of what is possible and make what needs to be done happen. We need to change the future.
 
What I am talking about is very simple with very little math and science required. Throwing a temper tantrum never really got anyone very far, since rarely do temper tantrums come with a useful explanation of why the tantrum is occurring. Please, to all protesters and anyone in general who wants to make a difference, it starts with you. Go home, analyze your lifestyle and how that can be changed to bring about change at a larger scale. I'll give you some hints since there is a nice long holiday break ahead, hopefully with thinking time and opportunities to tell others how they can make a difference.
 
Five things Occupiers could be doing instead of being a nuisance and to make a bigger impact
  1. Do not buy bottled water. A $2.00 bottle or a $0.02 gallon tap? Plus, plastic doesn't go away, so let's use less of it so we make less of it and less of it accumulates in the oceans, impacting marine food webs. A great holiday gift idea would be a re-usable water bottle or coffee mug. Keep your eye on water and never let it be taken from you. Water is our most precious resource (as only 1% of the water on the planet is fit for human consumption). So conserve it.
  2. Start, if not already, obtaining your food from local sources or growing your food yourself. Recycle your organic wastes by composting or through a local composter.
  3. Demand renewable energy solutions and fair water rights. This is the future.
  4. Build your own stuff! Make your own clothes, buy used stuff and make things you need. You'll get handy, learn something and have a lot of fun!
  5. Remember: supply is inversely proportional to demand, so things you buy lead to more of those things being built, grown, mined ... If you don't buy them, then why would they make more?
 
Food for thought: What would happen if politicians were required to take and pass a logical reasoning exam prior to being eligible for office?