Joel Salatin is a farmer, lecturer, and the author of a number of informational books about food and farming. His farm — Polyface Farm — is a family-owned, pastured-based, beyond organic operation located in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and Salatin was featured in Academy Award nominated documentary “Food, Inc.” and in the book “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. Here is an excerpt from a recent interview.
Annie Corrigan: You call yourself a Christian-Libertarian-Environmentalist-Capitalist Farmer. Let’s break that down, title by title…Christian.
Joel Salatin: I am a Christian, and I think that the Judeo-Christian ethic calls us to realize that we are stewards of creation – that we are not to just rape it, pillage it, whatever, we are to steward it – and lays down certain principles of growth. When God made it in Genesis, the plants were to reproduce after their own kind. And genetic modification doesn’t make plants produce after their own kind. So, you know, even to that point, there are some nuances of order and a template there to live by.
JS: I don’t think every time there’s a problem, we need to look to the government for a solution. I think the government is the problem on many many things, and if we would free up entrepreneurial innovation and not give corporate welfare and special concessions to big business, and create regulations that aren’t scalable and always hurt the little person more than the big person, the size of big outfits (I’ll use that word loosely) would crumble in of its own bureaucracy.So, instead of artificially propping up big dinosaurs, we should let the dinosaurs collapse and fall so that a phoenix can rise from the ashes.
JS: I am a tree-hugger. I think that it is important that salamanders have four legs and frogs remain fertile. And I have a real problem with the Christian-right stereotype that has put a lot more emphasis on dominion than on nurturing. That tends to balance out the dominion part.
JS:I don’t apologize for running a business that makes a profit. We too often just push the profit under the rug, but at the end of the day, profit is the life-blood of a business. We can’t make improvements, we can’t make creative innovations unless there’s a little bit of money left at the end of the day to put into something new.
Full interview here.
Full interview here.