Consumers of All Nations, Unite!Posted: November 24, 2011
Madrid, November 24
I am touring a bit these days. It’s crazy. This spring I have been living here in Madrid like a bum for over two months, and now that I’m back I have a wide choice of places to sleep.
The other day I met comrade Martino, from the march. He was one of the persons who walked along with us on various occasions, whenever he could. Now I caught him in the revolutionary act of buying organical products directly from the producer.
In Spain they call this ‘Grupo de consumo’, in Italy ‘Gruppo di acquisto solidale’. It’s a pretty common practice, especially in a region like Tuscany, famous for its wine and olive oil.
I should know. I have been working as a baker of natural made sour dough bread in the Arno valley for a time, and later as a goat sheperd in the Chianti. We used to bring our products once or twice a week to an occupied social center, where our local clients came to buy their groceries.
The idea is pretty simple. A group of people decides to bypass the system of industrial agriculture and mass distribution by collectively ordering their fruit, vegetables, dairy, wine, olive oil and sometimes meat from a local organical producer. This way the producer is guaranteed a market and the consumers can get healthy products at a reasonable price, also because there is no brokering in between, there is no packaging, there is no transport over large distances. You eat products which are grown without pesticides or artificial fertilisers, and you know where they come from.
Of course, it’s much easier to resort to this way of sustainable consumption in rich countries like Portugal, Italy, Greece or Spain, with their enormous agricultural variety. But also in poor countries like Germany, Holland and England you can be sure to find organical producers somewhere in your neighbourhood.
Yes, dear people, the revolution starts at lunch, right on your plate. Look up your local organical farmers. Tell your neighbours. Unite. Get your eggs from a chicken that you personally know. But don’t do it because it’s better for the chicken, or because it’s better for you, or because it’s better for the farmer, the soil and the environment.
Do it because of the taste. Because nothing tastes likes real food.