The Food we eat — The Risks we take

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A valley between crests of the Wasatch Mountains

A valley between crests of the Wasatch Mountains

We were on vacation. A family camping trip with cousins and relatives we hadn’t seen in years. The children were ecstatic. The majestic Wasatch Mountains overshadowed our camp and sheltered us from harm. Stalwart pines kept watch and whispered windswept secrets in our ears. Their natural scent recalled holidays past and surrounded us with rustic earthy pleasure.

The morning before we broke camp, we dined on scrambled eggs and bacon, topped off with fresh squeezed orange juice. We were bloated with pioneer spirit. Our family, eastern city dwellers, had weathered the ruggedness as well as our western “rellies,” or so we thought. In less than 24 hours, all five of us had plunged into the depths of despair.

Our family was laid flat by what we thought was influenza. We were barfing and “trotting” and there was blood showing up in both. Eventually we discovered that we had been poisoned by Salmonella. The orange juice had encouraged the bacteria’s swift growth and surge through our bodies.

Apparently the farm families were used to eating cracked eggs that were not well refrigerated. Not one of them had gotten sick. It was we “city folk” who had fallen prey. That experience has made me an even greater waster than I was before. Now if something looks dry, has an odd color or smell – out it goes! No ifs, ands, or buts.

My watercolor version of that Wasatch Mountain valley

Watercolor on silk; my version of that Wasatch Mountain valley

Food is a basic necessity. We should not only work to keep it clean and safe, but we should ensure that it is always under our control.

What happens when governments gain too much power? They obtain a strangle hold over goods and natural resources. When governments control the food supply, they can choke off rebellion and use the people as puppets and slaves to do their bidding. On the pretext that they’re here to protect the consumer, the citizenry, they take over more and more industries and services in their grab for dominance

Some third world countries and old regimes have already done this increasing the turmoil and unrest that already existed. Citizens are forced into bread lines with other desperate people fighting for their basic necessities only to find that the food is gone by the time they get to the head of the queue.

Once, they could have stopped this savagery, but they didn’t. When they still had the power as citizens and voters, they shrugged their shoulders and let it happen. Helplessness set in. Compliance became submission. Now instead of the government serving the people, the people are property of the state. Their privacy rights were swallowed up first by the greedy and powerful. Next came freedom of expression followed by freedom of choice.

"Broken" mixed media on canvas; SOLD, but prints available.

“Broken” mixed media on canvas; SOLD, but prints available.

Even in our own country the government is trying to enforce guidelines for eating because Americans are too fat and can’t do it themselves. The government, already the largest landowner, is now buying up businesses that compete with their own purposes and agendas. Regulations are responsible for spiking food prices and sending the cost of other commodities soaring.

We don’t need the government to be our “Big Brother,” or father or mother. The job of politicians is to govern not parent. We still hear our own parents whispering in our ears: “Did you brush your teeth? Have you said your prayers? What did you eat for breakfast?”  Why would we want a powerful group of strangers in the White House to repeat these same old refrains?

Of course, none of us want salmonella or E. coli. With our tax dollars, governments do a pretty good job of keeping our foods clean and safe. But when they start dictating what foods we should eat and forcing us to conform to unlegislated regulations, we have the makings of a tyranny.

Every responsibility we forsake as a family, community or state ends up under government control. So next time you sink your teeth into that luscious hamburger, ask yourself: “Do I want to allow the government to choose whether I have a pickle on my hamburger or ketchup or mayonnaise? Do I want the government to tell me how much food I’m allowed to buy at the grocery store and then define for me what I can purchase?”

"Fish Market" acrylic on canvas

“Fish Market” acrylic on canvas

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