Letters from Home

A Patriot in the Garden

You know all that flag-waving, “true-American” rhetoric we hear from the Rush Limbaugh conservatives?

Local foodies and organic farmers are the real patriotsI was thinking about that today, as I was pondering getting our organic garden ready to spring planting.

It’s Ok. I know I am preaching to the choir generally.  But a good argument is worth saying, just in case it’s seeps into the other side.

Here’s how I feel: eventually, if a mostly-reasonable person hears enough of it, then she can start to change their story.  Sometimes a bit. Sometimes a lot.

So here’s my logical argument for Why the Organic, Local Food Movement is Patriotic.

1. Food. Made in the U.S.A. Often in your actual state.

2. Employees are your neighbors: those hard-working folk in work boots and seed caps. You know the ones. Called farmers.

3. Requires less food shopping at Wal-Mart, where many parts of the chain of processed food are made in some god-forsaken foreign land.

4. No subsidies. Hell, local farmers are the bastard stepchildren of the USDA. Go small government!

5. Free-range animal farming means less money being poured into prisons!

6. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus eat seedless Mexican grapes from a plastic clamshell.

7. And, the obvious. Food which defines: “Taste great. Less filling.”

So, for all my grungy, hippie-dippie organic-loving localvores out there: I am pleased to inform you that you have passed the test for first-class, red-blooded, proud-to-be-an-Amer-can patriot.

For all my more conservative friends: I regret to inform you that you will have to become a fancy-schmancy, organic buying asshole in order to solidify your rank in this fair land as “true patriot.”

6 thoughts on “A Patriot in the Garden

  1. Hi Elizabeth (and company),

    I realized I need to keep better tabs on my dear freind Eliza – lest I forget how awesome she is. And that she is a terrific writer with interesting insights to offer.

    That said, I’m jumping in (even if it is ex post facto). First: Yes, we all have our blindspots. (or “disconnects.”) The ideal is to live a conscious existence that allows us to become aware of these disconnects…and then reducing the number/intensity/ duration of these ways in which we fail to live up to our own ideals.

    And I fear that both of you (Paul and Elizabeth) are operating with outdated information. Plenty of “foreign” cars are actually built in America and plenty of American cars are now equal (or superior) to many of the Japanese cars. Ford, in particular.

    Okay – back to regularly-scheduled programming!

    1. Interesting Deron… what is the ideal? Living up to our ideals? Or discovering something beyond that? I’ll have to think about that.


  2. Elizabeth –

    I LOVE YOU! (but I’m still going to eat my sour patch kids, even if they are made in some God-forsaken land). But I do love organic, locally grown food!

  3. Paul, yes! My friend recently bought an American made car, and I caught myself in the middle of a knee-jerk response about the superiority of Japanese cars (Honda, Mazda, etc.) I didn’t say anything and just said “Cool.”

  4. I’m always amused at disconnects. We all do it.

    – Conservatives: buy an American car (or better yet, truck) & buy vegetables from South America.

    – Liberals: buy a Swedish car & buy locally-grown organic produce.

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