Pardon the Interlude: Food for Thought

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By Alexandria Sardam

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The true power that lives inside music is one of the greatest forces within the universe. Yeah, pretty bold statement, but it’s true.

Music’s mood can fix things that tangible things simply can’t, mending broken hearts with a Sufjan Stevens song.

Music can melt through the past decades of hurt and pain, returning its listeners to a time of sepia-soaked skies with crazy conductor, Peter Frampton as the “Doc” of time travel.

The power of music can influence movements, stop wars and raise awareness. Saturday in Hershey, Pa., the power of music did just that — raise awareness by strengthening America’s core of supporting family farmers.

For the past 27 years, Farm Aid has been promoting family farmers and the dedication they’ve had in supplying communities across the country with enriched, quality food. Whether Farm Aid is battling a factory-farmed mass production of mediocre, hormone-pumped food or the natural disasters that destroy crops and the well-being of families on a daily basis, the organization keeps their mission in the forefront of their mind: to keep farmers on their land.

This year, Jack Johnson, along with other musical acts such as Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals took the stage with Farm Aid’s headliners and board, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson and Neil Young. Crazy Horse rocked longtime fans, jamming with avid Aid supporter Young.

Whether Potter of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals was getting cozy, kicking off her boots mid-performance, or Zach Gill was pounding along on the keys as ALO delighted fans, the thousands of fans and musicians packed into the stadium that night knew their unity meant more than a night full of entertainment.

This country is dependent on family farmers. Their work is directly correlated to the growth of individual communities and the overall well-being of the nation as a whole through the standard of their crops. Not only do they work to protect our soil, air and environment for today, they think consciously, creating a world that is more wholesome and healthy for future generations.

The quality of food and eventual health of this nation is being ripped from the hardworking, callused hands of local town farmers and shoved into the mindless mitts cranking the meat grinders of factory farms. Is this the food you want to eat? Is this the work ethic you want to support?

Our country wasn’t built on lazy, tainted food. It was built on honest people, a little elbow grease and a whole lot of homegrown love. Music has the power to awaken senses and empower voices. What do you think of when you drop the needle on your favorite album? What thoughts soar through the caverns of your head when those emotions are provoked?

Why wait for a change when you have what it takes inside of you? You don’t need a microphone on a stage in front of thousands to say what you feel. You don’t need a crisp suit with an American flag lapel to make a change in something you believe is wrong.

Let the power of music speak for you, let it bring lyrics to the voice within. Let music ignite a change in you.

“I’ve always believed that the most important people on the planet are the ones who plant the seeds and care for the soil where they are grown,” Willie Nelson said.