Why You Need A Farmer

2009-dept-agricultureYou may believe that malnourishment is highly unlikely in the U.S. considering how readily available “food” is. But you would be wrong as the chart from the Department of Agriculture clearly shows.

Would you be as surprised that this is far from being a “new” problem? This is from the 2nd Session of the 74th USA Congressional Record (1936):

“Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats today are not what they were a few generations ago. It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99% of the American people are deficient in these minerals and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer, and shorten our lives.”

There are a few key points to be mindful of:

  • This was 1936 and the country was still dealing with the repercussions of the Great Depression. So it is not that surprising that the majority of the population was malnourished.
  • What is relevant is that in 1936 the foods, fruit, vegetables and animal products were themselves scientifically proven to be less nutrient dense than previous generations. This is a trend which continues to this day.
  • Lastly, that nutritional deficiencies were known then to contribute to poor health; sickness, suffering and shorter lifespans.

What are today’s implications?

  • Is it surprising to find that for the first time in modern history, the lifespan of children born today is expected to be less than their parents?
  • Is it mildly bizarre that the U.S. Farm Bill continues to subsidize nutrient deficient processed food, driving down the price of garbage relative to real whole food? To make up for this deficiency, most of the processed foods are fortified with bio-unavailable, poorly absorbable synthetic micronutrients and then marketed to us as being healthy.
  • Even the organic foods found in the grocery store are mostly nutrient deficient due to the mass production, assembly line approach to processing and packaging. The more marketing that any “food” product has the less likely it is to be health building.

The challenge I see is that most of America has lost sight of not only what real food is, but where it comes from. We have been led to think in terms of price and convenience rather than consider if it will sustain life much less build health. And what we have been told is good for us is often wrong, for at least most and in some cases the entire population.

What can you do? Most of us don’t have the property, time or knowledge to grow, much less raise our own food. That is okay. What you can do, is support local, small, family run farmers.

Pastured Free-Range vs Factory Farmed

Pastured Free-Range vs Factory Farmed

You may be wondering why are small farmers often better.

  • A small farmer’s livelihood depends upon satisfied customers. They develop a relationship with their customers.
  • They can’t and often won’t scale up their production if it requires that they cut corners. Real farmers care about what they produce and are very proud of the end product.
  • Real farmers know the health of the soil their fruits/vegetable are grown in. They intimately know the health of the salad bar of greens the animals and poultry are feeding upon.
  • They have a vested interest in the process from beginning to end, which is reaching your plate.

Everyone should have a farmer. Everyone can have a farmer. A farmer that they can rely on to acquire real whole food. That is what I have done. In fact I have set up a deal where I’m a drop-off site coordinator for a local Amish farmer. I get real whole food delivered every week for myself and members.

The food is amazing, I can literally live off of what is available year round. Even better, the prices are comparable if not better considering the quality. You won’t find this food in any grocery store, even the high end grocery stores which are more hype than anything else. The only thing comparable is your local farmer’s market and even then the variety is often lacking.

If you are in the Phoenixville area and are interested in real whole farm food, contact me. If you are not local, but wish to find yourself a farmer. Check out these two resources www.eatwild.com and www.localharvest.org.

Here are a few previous blog posts which investigate why food and how it is raised/grown matters:

Lifestyle Matters

Chickens, Health & Lifestyle

 

I will leave you with this final thought.

“You can’t get health from unhealthy food!”

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