Experts and advocates from across the country are gathering this weekend in Louisville and exploring the local food movement.
The 15th Annual Healthy Foods Local Farms Conference — with the theme “Real Homeland Security: Food, Health and Community” — is examining the local food economy and its links to access and healthy living in Kentucky.
As a fourth generation farmer, Will Harris, president of White Oak Pastures, watched his forefathers rely on machinery and industry. Harris chose in the late 1990s to take the farm in a different direction, eschewing chemicals and pesticides and turning to natural alternatives.
Harris, of Bluffton, Ga., will share his story Saturday with conference attendees. He gave WFPL a look into his farm habits and talked at length about food production:
On building awareness about food production practices
“I very strongly believe more needs to be done to educate people about the food production system principally because very large multinational food corporations have focused on efficiently producing food and making it cheap but have really not disclosed the production practices that are necessary to make food obscenely cheap.”
On the pros and cons of an industrialized food system
“The industrialization of our food system in this country was done for very reasonable causes. It was done to make food cheap, abundant and safe from the perspective that you don’t get an acute illness when you eat it. And it’s wildly successful in achieving those three goals. Unfortunately, there have been unforeseen occurrences. The unforeseen consequences came in the form of less than humane conditions on our animals, real lapses in the stewardship of our land and water and the economy of rural America.”