By: Alison Hensley
Whether we are aware of it or not, each one of us is actively engaged in a revolution. The well being of our species and planetary environment depends on which side prevails, and throughout each day we choose what side we support. This choice, which we now face is between: Commercial Centralization or the concentration of power and choice within our food systems being left in the hands of mindless agribusiness. The other being synergistic localization of our food source; the dynamic process by which we personally and mindfully engage with what and how we consume. This is an entirely new form of revolution, for we do not win it by fighting, we win it by cooperating.
The senseless destruction inherent in the commercial food system is rapidly becoming common knowledge thanks to the growing influence of writers like Michael Pollan, documentaries like The Future of Food, television shows like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and grassroots local movements like Santa Barbara’s SOL (sustainable, organic, and local) Food Festival. The root problem that they all address is our disconnection from our food source. Knowledge and practice passed down from generation to generation throughout the millennium has been replaced by a dependence on mechanistic profit-based food manufacturing and distribution. Because of this, human intention towards symbiosis and personal well-being has been supplanted by corporate schemes designed to maximize profit and minimize expense. This has resulted in a food system where our food often travels halfway around the world and back, only to end up on our plates as a processed fragment of the nutritional and energetic content of the whole foods with which we co-evolved. The consequences of this system are palpable. From chemical fertilizer runoff, global consumption of fossil fuels, and biologically dangerous genetic modification of food to human ailments such as obesity and diabetes. The impacts are real and they effect all of us.
However, the times they are a changin’ and despite the current dominate food systems, food revolutionaries everywhere are becoming more united in hope and positive action. Sustainable permaculture and biodynamic farming methods are becoming widespread, restaurants are beginning to link up with local farmers to provide local organic ingredients for their menus. Community, backyard, and guerrilla gardens are popping up everywhere. And most importantly people are seeking and sharing knowledge and skills to empower themselves to reclaim their food source.
A growing number of individuals are making the choice on a daily basis through their actions to support community-sourced food rather than corporation-sourced food. It is to empower people in living this choice that the SOL Food Festival and the community growing around it have been developed.
We invite you to join us on October 1, 2011 in Plaza de Vera Cruz, across the street from the Saturday Farmers market. Featuring everything from fun and educational activities for children to a presentation on the “how to” and history of beer in the beer garden, the SOL Food Festival provides Santa Barbarans of all ages and subcultures with a festive opportunity to come together to learn, share, and empower each other in making choices that matter.
Come Support Our Efforts:
Wednesday, September 7th, SOHO. Gourmet (local) Dinner with Guest Chef at Soho ~ Save the Date!
Tuesday, September 20th. LoaTree Presents: Green Drinks at the Lobero Theater Patio, a benefit for SOL Food. $10 ~ Wine, food and fun