HASTINGS – If you care about the food you eat, then fight to preserve the family farm and the freedom to produce a variety of natural, healthful foods.
That was the message hundreds of supporters of Montana Jones’ Wholearth Farm Studio heard Sunday as they came together for Lifestock, A Call To Farms, a fund and awareness-raising event featuring food, music and a range of speakers, among them nutritionist, author and radio host Pam Killeen.
“Food is medicine,” said Killeen, author of Addiction: The Hidden Epidemic. “The farm is our pharmacy; that’s where we’re going to get the food that is going to nourish us and make us mentally and physically healthy.”
That’s why it’s vital to protect farms and farming practices that exist outside of the factory farm system and the mass-production food industry, she said. “I’m here to talk about what consumers can do to protect our food supply from being destroyed by the government and multi-national corporations. And what they can do, is support local farms like Montana’s, get to know their farmers, make sure the chickens are outside, make sure the cows are outside and the pigs are outside, and that they are actually doing what I call authentic agriculture.”
Lanark County sheep farmer Keith Salisbury said the continuing destruction of local family farms and the local food supply will have dire consequences. “As the fuel costs go up, and there is a shortage of food, people are going to say, ‘where are all those farms, where have they gone to?’”
Salilsbury, who is retired from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency could have co-operated with Jones to preserve the genetics of her rare heritage breed Shropshire Sheep. “I would like the CFIA to start thinking about what they are doing before they do it,” he said. “They didn’t have to kill them, they could have quarantined them on the farm and just not allowed them into the food chain.”
Canadian Constitution Foundation lawyer Karen Selick said helping Jones in her fight to save Wholearth Farmstudio’s Shropshire Sheep has been “an amazing learning experience for me.”
She compared the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the wizard in the movie The Wizard of Oz. “There’s this enormous voice and thunder and lightning, and then the curtain is swept aside and there’s just some little old guy who doesn’t know what he is doing.”…’