A Series on Food and Eating I: Organic Foods

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan, is a fascinating book. I am on page 242 of 415. So far, my intrigue has climaxed with Pollan’s report on his visit to Polyface Farm in Virginia, owned and operated by Joel Salatin.

Salatin’s motto is, “The way I produce food is an extension of my worldview.” Apparently, Salatin’s worldview is inclusive and mobile.

Polyface Farm does not mimic the monocultural “industrial organic” farms, but a sustainable polyculture that is serious about clean food and symbiotic relationships. Salatin isn’t producing one homogonized item, such as thousands of chickens. Polyface Farm includes trees, grass, cows, chickens, turkeys, and hogs. Fresh compost is produced from wood chips and organic material. Manure is natural fertilizer. Every creature is moved daily, so as not to overuse the grass. Furthermore, the foul, “dine on the insects that would otherwise bother the hervbivore; they also pick insect larvae and parasites out of the animal’s droppings, breaking the cycle of infestation and disease.”

Salatin has broken out of the industrial view of the world as linear and hierarchal. All creatures are equally important, diverse, and interdependent. They are in a state of readiness, easily mobilized to work together for the good of the whole. Not to say Polyface Farm is an ideal, there is no human ideal, however the principles underlying the action is worth contemplation.

A holistic view allows for a fuller expression of our distinctiveness, and for God’s infinite individuality.

By Michael Pollan

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