Something I think about quite often in regards to our local food and agriculture industry on St. Croix is how truly blessed we are.
Think about it – in the States (and around the world) right now there is a huge debate going on over Genetically Modified foods, as well as several harmful pesticides and herbicides (neonicotinoids and RoundUp, to name two) that are commonly used in food production in the states. A lot of people are quite concerned about these food sources and the way in which they’re grown, not only from a health perspective, but from an environmental perspective as well. There are theories that pollinators like bees are being decimated from the continued use of these pesticides, and I tend to agree.
Also people are concerned about the growth of large factory farms (agribusiness) and the loss of the small family farmer, and the impact that that loss has on agriculture as a culture in the USA. There’s a lot that can be discussed here, but suffice it to say that the opinion that I see most often is one that when a few large companies control the food supply, we, as a population of people, lose control over the way that the food we eat is grown and prepared.
But regardless of any personal stance on GMOs, and large factory farms in general, we are blessed on St. Croix. Why? Because right now we don’t even have to enter into those arguments, because for the most part our local food is not grown like that here. And if I can do my part with Go Local St. Croix, hopefully we will never have GMO crops or dangerous chemicals like I mention above being used here in our local food supply. Yes, there are farmers here who do use non-organic poisons, but on the whole more and more St. Croix farmers are moving towards organic (or low-impact) growing techniques because those farmers care about the food that they grow – because they care about the people that consume it. And the more that our local community in return shows that it cares about not only the food that it has to eat, but about our local farmers as well? Well, only good things can come from that, my friend.
We are blessed here. We may live on a small rock in the middle of the ocean, but in many ways that carries a gift for us – a gift of our own food identity, and our own determination of our food sources for our future, as we carry the heritage and culture of the Crucian past into the future. Personally, I’m excited, and I’m doing my best to help us to always be blessed to not enter into the world of debate over agribusiness and factory farming – because our local Crucian farmers will take us into the future.
Go Local St. Croix – Local Food, Local LOVE. We are blessed!