Happy July 4th – I Heart My Country

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These are from a July 4th fireworks demonstration in Chicago a few years ago. We were lucky enough to capture what looks like a meshing of two hearts.

I see this as symbolic in that my heart beats with the heart of my country. I love my country. I love the free market, even though it can morph into ridiculous, especially when it comes to food.

America is free to have companies that produce pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and whoppers that exceed 1000 calories. Food companies can gain success with various non-food items and seduce the public into purchasing them. But, what I love about our freedom is that we can say “no thank you.”

This is free enterprise. We don’t live in a state where we are subject to food rations and government supplies. We decide each and every day what we eat, how we will eat it, and we also are free to reject food we don’t want. We have over 200 cereals to choose from. Maybe 10 of those are actually worth eating, but we are free to gobble up junkie junk food, if we want to.

I feel strongly about the subject of food, from the way it pops out of the earth (which I thank God for) to the way we then take it and either enhance it and positively affect our health, or destroy it and destroy ourselves with it.

And, this brings me to what I love about America. We are free to eat a thousand different ways. We can be vegans and find good food sources to support that kind of nutrition requirement. Or we can eat meat that comes from humane husbandry, and fair farming practices. We are free to refuse to buy food that is over-processed, genetically modified and not going to do our bodies any real good.

There are people in the world who do not have the free market choices, and must live on what they can find, which may or may not be safe to eat or drink. While I realize there are folks in America that don’t have wide choices or ample food, as a whole…as a country, our majority does indeed decide through individual choices how our food is grown, prepared and consumed. Sometimes, we don’t realize that and we succumb to what is easy, or readily available, not realizing we can make that difference.

We Americans have very loud voices and we vote with our wallets. We change the marketplace because we are allowed to share information, write exposes on farming and on the food industry, and we are free to reject what we don’t agree with.

American, you have forced the fast food industry to re-think it’s choices, albeit not perfect, it’s a mark of freedom.

The farmers markets are bustling as people run to support their local farmers and ask questions about their practices. Today, July 4th, our market was open, and people took the time out of their holiday weekend to buy from the local farmers. The eggs are a bit more expensive than grocery store eggs, but always sold out. This means a lot to the farmer, and it’s that wonderful freedom of choice that enhances the food supply and enhances life.

The mass market food industry is being forced to make changes as they can only produce what people will buy. This is because we operate in a free market system, where competition fleshes out dangerous or silly food products.

Celebrate your freedom today by making good choices, and supporting your local farmers for all their hard work to stay alive and bring you good food.

Happy July 4th and a special thanks to our soldiers and their families who sacrifice their time, their talent and their lives to keep America free.

And, just in case you’re wondering, I will probably eat a hot dog today, along with corn from the market, my mom’s blueberry pie and our home made vanilla ice cream.


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