A Better Way

Flying Pigs Farm, Shushan, N.Y.

New ways, which are really the old ways, are emerging. The backyard chicken movement is bringing people closer to their food and putting the small owner back in charge. People are buying from CSAs and farmers markets and learning more about what it takes to grow food.

Essayists in CAFO say stricter environmental and animal rights laws are one way to bring factory farms under control. Consumers hold another key, says editor Daniel Imhoff. In a chapter “Vote with Your Fork,” Imhoff says Americans need to redefine healthy food.

“In a world pummeled by both an obesity epidemic and chronic hunger, it is entirely possible that nutritious foods could become one of our best forms of preventive health care,” he writes. This is an achievable and affordable goal, because the 70 cents of every health care dollar now spent on obesity and related maladies could be redirected to overseeing and facilitating new food networks.

“…The good news is that food is an issue most of us can do something about. We are all eaters, and the acts of eating and of producing our food bind us to one another and to the earth.”


  • CAFO.org — More about the book and the campaign for changes.
  • SlowFood.org — A movement to decelerate the food machine and return it to small producers, artisans and merchants, for our health, our economy and to right moral wrongs.
  • Polyface Inc. — A farm to visit online or in person to learn about alternative farming techniques.
  • Farmers Markets – USDA search tool — a place to find farmers markets near you.
  • Backyard Chickens.com — To find out more about raising your own laying hens.
  • Hatching Some Backyard Fun — A GRN story about raising chickens.
  • What About Grassfed Beef? — An article by John Robbins on why grass-fed is better.
  • American Farmland Trust — Their mission is to save farmland and support healthy food production.