The Business of food — your choice in support of agriculture
Posted: Friday, March 27, 2015 12:00 am
By Tessa Edick
For Columbia-Greene Media
It is not a privilege to eat and be healthy. It is a human right we must reclaim. Every one of us each and every day with a collective consciousness that is impactful and rewarding to give us all access to farm fresh food.
We all deserve to eat good food. It doesn’t have to be certified. And it should cost whatever pays a fair living wage direct to the small-scale growers, family farms, local food producers and food cooperatives that grow it, make it and bring it direct to market through various channels like shops, farmers markets, retailers and CSA farm share programs. They offer us all equal opportunity to eat locally sourced delicious nutrient dense fresh food from the farm to our tables most of the time. I say, 70 percent of the time it’s doable.
Somehow the big business of food with their processed agendas and greedy distribution monopolies seized our access and took control of pricing to render us sick and fat with cheap food. They programmed us with the science of taste, not the reward of eating quality food that is once again the key to our “good food for all” future based in health and wellness. We must once again start lifting up agriculture to the noble status it deserves. Restoring wellness, rebuilding local economies and combating food insecurity are just a few issues we begin to tackle by spending food dollars at the farm with food ethics.
I wonder why it is that we don’t get discounts on health insurance when we eat good, healthy, locally sourced food and aren’t often sick? I wonder why we aren’t taught food is medicine and our best prevention against illness? Why is it that the food and drug administrations are linked and it’s not the food and water administration? Who is responsible for these “poison for profits” to big ag and big food? And why don’t we the people, by the people, for the people reclaim what we are entitled to with our own food dollars — honestly made, good food that’s responsible, high quality and made with transparent claims? Isn’t that better for us all? And we do have choices! Don’t swap convenience for nutrition. Eating is the most important thing you do everyday.
As a successful food entrepreneur I had the food dream and worked hard for 20 years to make it come true. I launched a product to market with impeccable timing, a unique position sourcing ingredients from family farms at a time only 20 years ago when it seemed like a new concept. Combined with the synergy of specialty food production and “all natural” eating in whole foods market and the organic term newly marketed for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by Madison Avenue — the result was an incredibly honest product that tasted better and is awarded today on supermarket shelves globally. All thanks to the farm.
My get up, dress up, show up and “getirdone” mentality aligns well with the farmer’s practice and is how, together with integrity and hard work, I realized that everything you need to know to become successful in business and eating is learned at the farm. Even better? It’s sustainable, too, if we all commit to similar practices for food choices and sources — opting out of processed food for our health and the health of our children.
Agri-Business should take a cue to revitalize a respect for farming as a noble profession, connect us to better quality food and rebuild local economies in the process. Instead, it took a shortcut called profit, promoting cheap food and leaving Americans over fed and starving that has rendered us all sick, fat, tired, sleepless, infertile and lethargic on the way to their banks.
We must reverse this trend by taking the bull by the horns — get back into our communities and reconnect with our farmers that work hard to feed us well. There is no barrier, no packaging convincing you of food claims or false promises. There are farmers to meet and learn from. We must fund their businesses simply by making an effort to buy from them. It’s our opportunity to relearn how to eat. And it’s an amazing experience from the farm to your table.
At the beginning of the food chain are people that care and wake up everyday before the sun in any weather to feed us all. Tirelessly and dedicated, it’s time we thank our farmers and reward them by buying our food from these folks in shops and markets, restaurants or CSA farm shares that truly impact economic development. They connect rural and urban marketplaces and not only push Agri-business ideas back to the White House to lobby, but allow health and wellness to come from our fields to our fridge and more importantly push our farmers to earn a living that is honest and equally rewarding for them too.
It’s about ethics: Food ethics and communities. Wendell Berry said, “Eating is an agricultural act.” And we have to savor that idea every time we decide to eat. The impact is far and wide. And beyond organic, it’s better for us all.
Back to the farm we must go. Get involved. Eat local. Change all of our lives simply because of what you choose to buy to feed yourself and your family. It matters and it starts with an awakening each day with conscious food choices that keep farmers farming and tastes better too. It pays it forward with healthy living and we all save in many ways beyond our pocketbooks. Make the switch today. FarmOn!
Meet your farmer and eat local, here’s how: FriendsOfTheFarmer on Instagram, Twitter @FarmOnFarmOn, ColumbiaCountyTourism.org, JustFood.org and Field-Goods.com.
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