If you aren’t the kind of person to frequent farmer’s markets, or farms, the concept of having a relationship with the person who grows your food might be very foreign.
The beautiful thing about knowing your farmer is the relationship and trust it brings. When a farmer commits to his or her customers personally it is a very different experience than purchasing at item from the produce aisle at your favorite grocery store. A farmer cares about your health because their liveliness depends upon it. When a huge conglomerate farm produces mass amounts of food, they don’t have to have the same concern for consumers because their PR department will have the situation mopped up before it does any real harm.
Recently, I’ve noticed news popping up that points to some food scares dealing with e.coli. These types of ordeals always leave me wondering why bigger always has to be better. We, as a society, have become too focused on everything in mass quantity, and to me this is why problems arise. When your goal is to push out a lot of food, the quality factor goes right out the window. No matter how large the production, there is no way that each item is properly inspected. Over use of pesticides, cutting costs at the expense of quality, and over farming of land all add to the possibility of non-quality products.
While I am quite sure that someone who is far more savvy than myself on the benefits of factory farming might strongly disagree with me, statistics do show that this type of farming to which we have become accustomed is the leading factor in greenhouse gas emission, and second (next to automobiles) in consumption of fossil fuel. With so much rich and diverse land across our country I simply cannot see reason why we should have to continue farming in this big business way when it not only causes harm to the planet and future generations, but to our immediate health as well.
Most recently it seems that ‘Ready Pac‘ has had an e.coli scare, and as an article put out in The Packer has stated, the publicity surrounding this type of scare, or discovery, may prove to be a good thing by giving the company a chance to address an issue they have. Regardless of how this company chooses to respond to this crisis however, this type of thing only further proves to me the importance of staying local, and sticking with the little guys who give a damn about me, and whether or not I’m going to keep coming back to buy from them.
I’m telling you, check out a farmers market in your neighborhood, and before you know it, you’ll be hooked too!