Monday, April 18, 2011

Dear Jerry

Dear Jerry,

This summer I took your writing workshop at The Clearing.  I’ve since realized that many of the writing exercises you did with us were powerfully designed to shut down the left side of our brains to allow the creativity of the right side emerge.  It was so simple, so fast, an amazing experience.

You mentioned in the class that you just published a book called Cranberry Red.  It’s taken me a while, but the memory of your description of the book came popping up lately as my own work continues to uncover more examples of how our modern food and agriculture is failing us.

In Cranberry Red, you tell the story of a University Extension employee who loses his job and takes one with a private company that is working on a nutrition-enhanced cranberry.  All is well until evidence of harmful side effects starts to surface.  Should he expose his employer, lose his job again, and lose the opportunity to influence the company?

I bet you won’t take offense if I say that you are anything but a radical guy.  You too were on the Faculty of UW Extension for many years.  This book, however, tells the story in your warm and folksy and entertaining way, of what we’ve done and are doing to farmers and food.  Modern agriculture: hubris at the expense of nature. 

What I like best about your book is that it makes the economic and health tragedy that is emerging out of our food system into a personal story.  Food and health are personal.  I see this all of the time.  Our industrial food system keeps trying to make food into a widget, but people and the earth keep resisting.  No we haven’t figured out how to take the vagaries of weather out of supply.  No we haven’t successfully convinced consumers that buying food from a big food company like Kraft is safer than buying it from a local farmer. People want a personal relationship with their food and the people who make it.  People are also starting to think that maybe surrendering their physical health to “experts”, whose solution no matter what the problem is appears to be pills, may not be the best idea.  Nor is believing that humans can engineer foods that are better for us than natural foods. 

I created teraswhey to cause extraordinary change, not of the engineered kind, but of the natural kind, the kind where the food that can heal us comes in its natural form, from farmers we know and cheese makers who respect their craft. Teraswhey is a sort of antidote to Cranberry Red.  

Thank you for giving voice to something many of us have been experiencing for a long time!


1 comment:

  1. Lovely. I like how your blog posts take the form of letters. I have read many, many blogs over the last 4 years and I have never seen anyone doing an epistolary blog. Awesome!

    I like your thoughts on writing, whey, and Jerry Apps.