This November, we have the ability to make a very important statement as citizens of Maine who eat, grow, produce, catch or distribute food. I’m pretty sure that is all of us.
Voting “yes” on ballot question 3 gives the people back our voice and our power when it comes to building a food system that is right for ourselves and our communities. I have been a small-scale, sustainable farmer since 2005. Even in this relatively short time, I have seen more and more power go to large, faceless, industrial agricultural corporations. We are currently experiencing how an industrial food system handles a crisis with this ongoing pandemic. We still see the empty grocery shelves — not very reassuring, is it? And what about the inevitable disruptions that will come with a rapidly changing climate in the not-so-distant future?
I’ve also seen amazing ways that my local community (farmers, gardeners, fishermen, librarians, parent/teacher organizations, local businesses and hunger relief agencies) came together to get neighbors healthy, nourishing food doing this challenging time and was greatly inspired. This a wake-up call to how Maine can come together to build a strong, resilient and independent food system that is based on sound environmental, economic and socially just practices. We, the people, have the skills and the commitment to work together to achieve this and nothing should impede this basic right to feed ourselves and our communities with the foods we know are best for us to grow and access.
Molly A. DellaRoman