Thursday, August 9, 2012

Food Choices Not Just For Celebrities

Today's blog post is written by Jan of SlowMoneyFarm. Jan grew up on a family farm with Charolais, hay and corn as well as exposure to Brown Swiss cattle. She and her husband currently raise a variety of poultry, rabbits and raised bed gardens (vegetables and herbs) with a focus on heritage/heirloom production and conserving rare breeds. They bred and showed several national top 10 Giant Chinchilla rabbits last year, and Jan uses social media to promote and offer food choices to the public.

When Joel Salatin says something about agriculture people listen. What he does is special. It's a great thing. He's written books and given lectures around the world. People want to buy food from HIM.

What most miss, however, is that he's doing what thousands of other farmers are doing coast to coast and border to border. He's finding what works for him, marketing it to work for him and selling to a specific market. That's not a bad thing - it works for him. But we're doing the same thing - every farmer out here is finding what works for us, what can we maximize, how can we find a market to allow us to do what we do one more year?

So while people salivate over the celebrities they overlook opportunity. How's that? Well because there are many small operations who also have food for sale. Some is grass based, some not, depending on what works for each individual farm. However there is another key point that those who eat may not realize, and that's the power you have over your food choices.

Whether it's fresh lamb, U-pick orchard fruit, outdoor raised chicken or any of the other hundreds of products American farmers produce, there are options. You can buy at the store or buy direct. You may get to know the folks growing your food, or you may not care as long as the price is right.

Does it matter? Sure it does! Food choices are personal! It's a connection that we in the agriculture community share with everyone out there. Those with farms of all types would welcome paying customers who want what they have to sell at a fair price.

It doesn't take writing a book or speaking at conferences to prove one knows what they're doing. Look at their animals. Are they growthy, bright eyes, healthy looking animals? Are the coats in good condition? Do they appear to be thriving? Then chances are the farmer has a pretty good idea of what to do! Talk to the farmer, negotiate your food.

Remember - food choices mean farm choices. That's a win-win situation for all! Minus the book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This