Changes in food consumption

In the past ten years, there has been a lot of talk about marginalized groups, including farming in the
upper hills, but only because people have realized that the hills are collapsing, that the woods needed
for the city-dwellers’ Sunday outings have disappeared, and that hunters would be better off if there
wasn’t any farming so their game isn’t poisoned and they are free to roam without the nuisance of
farms that might cause an uproar from the owners of the land, at times, ending even in death. And so,
someone came up with the idea of transforming the last remaining farmers into museum guards of all
that’s left of nature, which must always be available for the leisure time of those living in the plains.
Before these recent years, the farming problem was the last remaining hope of modern slave drivers:
the city’s burgeoning industries needed the manpower, and the Left praised the exodus as a chance for
those slightly conservative bumpkins to become fully proletarian bumpkins.

The countryside has handed over its children not only to inhabit the cities, or perhaps the cities’
suburbs, but also to build those cities. Not only has it given its land for roads and road junctions, for

factories, a third of which stand empty, for city parks and “well-maintained” green spaces, for centres
of development, for buffer zones, for council-house building programmes, for social work areas, and

for stadiums and gyms, but convinced by a “criminal college-educated citizenry” (to borrow a phrase
from Guido Ceronetti), it has given itself over entirely in prostitution to new agronomic methods full

of monocultures, parasiticides, and pesticides that have wiped out the soil’s fertility and poisoned the
aquifers. And the idiots currently on call still have the nerve to sneer at organic farming, even after the
fallout from atrazine, Temik, and the agony of the Adriatic, which barely represent the appetizer of a
feast of Roman-emperor proportions.

But how did we come to this state of the environment, of farmers, of health, and of foods out of horror

films? Before dedicating myself to organic farming, I spent many years pondering this question, during
several of which I even involved the mayor of one of the greatest cities of the Republic. And my attempt

to produce an answer led me far away, toward the end of the 1700s, to the age of Enlightenment,
the birth of industry, the triumph of Reason, or rather, the strength of the latest fashionable truth and

the scorn for peasants, artisans, shepherds, and all those independent manual trades, (even tenant
farmers, living in extreme poverty, were independent workers).

This scorn, which manifested itself in many ways, did not, however, afflict dependent manual workers,
who would soon be called operai in Italian (from builders of Opere, or works) and for whom a scientific

ideology would be invented with legal protections and codes of conduct, perhaps a bit boxed in,
perhaps a bit too repetitive, yes, but at least without the stench of the excrement of livestock, without

the sweat of the fields, without the winter’s mud in the roads, and summer’s dry dust. This new word
was quick to spread, through marching bands, armies, the monarchy, Fascism, the Republic, public

education, entertainment, and television. It would take us two centuries to understand that we’ve all
been had, both we independent manual peasant workers who stayed behind in the clean countryside,

and those dependent manual city workers who are the only ones paying taxes to maintain the political
parties, the cities, a healthcare system that is a total mess, a Parliament that no longer even writes the
laws and if they pass any concerning the economy, they never take into account anything that isn’t a
multinational, anything tied to precise settings and realities, for the purpose of the actual, tangible, not
theoretical, development of marginalized groups and of the most modest productions.
In general, objections are raised with the platitude that since Parliament directly represents the people,
it must be aware of the needs arising from below, (and by “below”, perhaps I mean what my dialect
means with regards to what lies at the bottom of one’s bowels). But if this were true, then who was it
who passed Law 580 of 1967 decreeing that durum wheat must be transformed into soft wheat, who
was it who invented the cork tax on wine requiring registers of loaded and unloaded goods, who was
it who established that eggs for sale must be packaged and all of equal weight, and who was it who
established that bread must also be packaged?
Thanks to these regulations and laws, all the stone mills and pasta factories of the south and its islands
have vanished because, based on that infamous law 580, it is utterly impossible to use such structures
to obtain a flour for making pasta that matches the characteristics of the law’s dictates. Who was it who
diffused the brilliant idea that fibre was dangerous to our health, and even carcinogenic? (What’s more,
this idea is a fine example of scientific documentation used to support lawmakers.) Now, supporters of
those “white” foods eat up all the roughage that the scorned farming culture had always only given to
its animals. The idea of refining foods in the 1960s was a fun way for the burgeoning agro-industry to

take control of farming’s raw materials. With the cork tax, all the small producers, who were typically
the growers themselves, disappeared from circulation, because for them all that bureaucracy of books

and records to be kept up-to-date is unthinkable. The story of eggs all being identical and packaged
has instead brought about the disappearance of all those women, often elderly, who used to sell

eggs from their own henhouses at local markets, and the required packaging of bread will lead to the
disappearance of all those small hillside and mountain bakeries in Italy, for whom buying a packing
machine, after having already bought a cash register, is inconceivable.
In today’s society, there isn’t any room for the simple and modest: even fresh, whole, raw milk, the
simplest food in the world, is prohibited. If the ruling idea in the crusade against bacteria persists, it
won’t be long before they sterilize breast milk within a mother’s chest as well. That law 580 of 1967 that
originated with the scientific endorsement of the harmfulness of fibre, even though they’ve now all

realized fibre’s importance, especially when it’s left in the foods in which it’s found, without adding it
separately, is still in effect and prohibits free citizens living in a free, democratic, secular, progressive
country to eat pasta made of barley, or rye, or buckwheat, or soy, or of whatsoever one pleases,
deems, or finds convenient. That in the past ten or fifteen years, one million Italians in our country have
worried over the problem of how and what to eat and, most importantly, have chosen to eat foods
deriving from eco-friendly agriculture, whose contents aren’t weeded out during processing, and to
which no additives, preservatives, or colourings are added—this fact doesn’t interest the Ministry’s
Roman bureaucrats on wheelchairs. To them, those one million Italians are merely unimportant
“roughage”, anarchists of real whole food, terrorists of nutrition, vegetarians, and health food nuts. They
don’t care that the conventional foods currently in circulation contain almost two million poisons which
we have invented only in the past century and which German homeopathic medicine has catalogued
and produced antidotes against, which are essential for countering their effects. What’s important is
that food be “white” and sterilized: bacteria are the devil! I, who am a devout Christian, without no
doubts in my mind and an honest belief in the Devil, think that it is, instead, in the minds of these
people that we can see the Devil’s work, because there is no way that human minds alone could have
established laws that allow artificial flavours to be called ‘natural’, that increase the danger zones of the
sea to save tourism, that permit substances to be put on the market whose harmfulness has not yet
been tested, instead of only allowing the consumption of substances whose wholesomeness is proven.
How can one not realize the harmfulness of unbalanced foods containing excessively high levels of
nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and none of the other minerals that the body actually needs?
How can one not ask oneself what is in Coca-cola that strips rust from iron and takes stains out of
clothes? How can one not make a connection between the increased rates of disease and unbalanced
foods, contaminated by the residues of agriculture, processing, and preservation?
How can one not realize that we’re leaving the future generation a desert instead of the countryside?
To me, the only way all this is possible is by thinking that the Prince of Darkness must be in our lives—
the Prince of destruction who through all these great ideas is carrying out his plan to destroy life and
Because it isn’t just a matter of the death of farming and the environment, of small businesses, of
farmers and artisans—it’s a matter of something much larger and far more profound: the end of
intelligence and human dignity. But as a follower of the carpenter from Nazareth, I am stating loud
and clear that I refuse to accept it. You can drag me before the magistrate as many times as you like,
you can burn me in the public square or in hiding, but you will never see me bring frankincense to the
“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night”
(Isaiah 62:6).