Modern health food marketing is all about what’s “Natural”. However, what is presented to us as natural isn’t, in fact, natural at all. Beautiful fruits, lush greens, delicious dairy products, gardens full of vegetables, and so on, are not natural at all.
If left to herself, Nature would produce thorns and thistles, fields full of useless brush and crooked trees rather than beautiful, cultivated vineyards, orchards and gardens. Nature would have the world filled with wolves and coyotes and foxes, rather than cows, sheep and chickens. Nature would flood and destroy lands and leave us without any of the necessities of life. Nature is not a very kind mother.
The reason everyone talks about Nature is because we have, as a society, tried to abandon God and pretend that there is good in the world without God and, consequently, without man, who was created in God’s image to order Nature. We will hear people say things like, “What would cows eat naturally?” and by that we mean without human interaction. Well, there would be no cows without human interaction. There was never a time in history when animals lived without men. This talk of how animals lived “naturally” is nonsense.
What we should say, if we would speak truly and intelligently, is that we want what God wants. We don’t want our food to grow naturally, but as God intends for it be grown. We don’t want animals cared for naturally, but as God intends for them to be cared for.
“And God blessed them, saying: ‘Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.’ .” Genesis 1:28
When we look critically at commercial agriculture, it makes no sense to say, “This is unnatural.”, because growing organic oranges in beautiful, well-maintained orchards is just as “unnatural”. What we don’t like about commercial agriculture is that it’s not what God intends. Usually, the reason for this is that we know that the methods used serve the financial profits of producers rather than the health of human beings–and that’s not what God intends. Or, we know that the industry exploits certain people and we know that’s not what God intends. When we see a commercial dairy pushing sick cows across the ground with a forklift, we know that this is not what God intends. When we see hundreds of men put out of honest work by machines that allow a small number of men to retain all of the profits of an industry, we know that this is not what God intends.
Let’s be honest: this is what upsets us about modern agriculture. It’s not that what is good is “natural”, but usually that what is bad is immoral. We don’t want our purchases supporting immoral practices. That’s our real concern–and it’s worth the efforts we make to avoid it.
We can vote for good political candidates whom we believe will make laws that are just and right, but we must understand that every time we make a purchase, we are casting a vote. There are good alternatives to questionable modern products and services and there are many more that need to be developed. Producers and consumers need to commit to goals and work together to see not that Nature, but God’s will is done.
“The heaven of heaven is the Lord’s: but the earth he has given to the children of men.” Psalm 113:24
At Michael Family Farm, that’s what inspires us in all that we do. It’s what made us interested in farming in the first place. We believe that what God intends in the natural world is for us (human beings) to make happen. That’s our role in the world, and the plants and animals can’t thrive without us doing that work. The plants and animals in the world are like children in need of parents. They are given to us by God to care for and direct, not to be left to themselves. All plants and animals–including every weed and predator–are good, if they are put and kept in the place God intends for them. That’s our job in this world, and when we get things ordered as God wills, we will all enjoy benefits on every different level of life.
God help us to do so.
Michael Family Farm