The relationship between farms and their surrounding communities is broken
In an ideal world, farms produce the food that the surrounding community consumes, creating a virtuous circle of cultivation, breeding, distribution and consumption that is very simple, direct and creates very little pollution. However, it is unfortunate that this ideal method no longer seems to exist: the drive towards progress and greater wealth that began in the 1960s and 1970s, has gradually eroded the relationship between farms and local communities, on the one hand allowing the entry of a third wheel, in the form of large industrial production companies, and on the other, imposing increasingly strict rules on the food trade. These two factors have led to a paradox: to put safer food on the table, we make it impossible for any producers of what many might refer to as ‘real food’ to access the market, whilst rolling out a red carpet for chemically treated foods that are often produced using methods that are far removed from the way nature intended.
Not only does this new landscape have an impact on the food we consume, but it also affects culture itself. By making seasonal products available all year round, placing long-haul foods on the shelves that otherwise would never have been part of the local cuisine, and creating new food purchasing trends - which involves the sale of goods that are already washed, cut and packaged - today's practices are completely erasing all knowledge of culinary traditions, and natural, seasonal cycles in the new generations.
So, on the one hand, it is the traditional farms that suffer, but on the other hand, this process impacts us all, effectively making us strangers to the food culture that has been with us since the beginning of time.