Some whispery journalist on NPR recently informed me that I live in a food desert. “What the heck is a food desert?” I thought, so I kept listening. Evidently, a food desert is a special place where there are no “mainstream” grocery stores. Whoever thinks up things like referring to a farming community as a food desert apparently believes they actually sell food at mainstream grocery stores.

Why there’s a grass fed Angus operation just a couple miles down the road from us. In between here and there, there’s at least one other cattle farm and a man who raises meat goats. Last I checked beef and chevron were considered food. Not to mention countless gardens and just about everybody’s got a few chickens scratching about. One of my neighbors raises bees, another rabbits, and we raise dairy goats. So don’t tell me I live in a freekin’ food desert.

Legally, we can’t sell what we grow and more than likely some uptight food Nazi would get his panties in a wad if we bartered among ourselves. But for goodness sake PLEASE don’t put a Publix on every corner (especially not with my hard earned tax dollars!).

What we need is a feasible way to process our homegrown foods legally. Of course there used to be certified local processors but they were effectively run out of business by sprawling government regulations which left only a handful of such operations in the entire US. Now the Angus farmer on my road sells most of his cattle at the stock yard. From there, they are hauled up north to some huge city and processed along with thousands of other cattle all of which will ultimately end up in the same hamburger, sold at your neighborhood mainstream grocery store. Shop there if you wish.

I’ll be over here in my food desert of paradise trading raw milk and homemade soap for fresh beef and a rabbit or two.

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