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Knowing Where Your Food Comes From (Plus a GIVEAWAY!!)

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Last week I had three emails in my inbox from farmers. One was from a farmer we are ordering a 1/4 cow from telling us our meat would be ready this week. One was from the farmers who run our CSA updating us on what is going on around the farm. And the last was from the coop I get the bulk of our meat and dairy from telling us the ordering cycle was open.

Three years ago I would not have known what any of those things even were. Now I like to joke that we eat like total hippies. I truly am stunned by how much differently we eat the more we know about our food system in America.

With stories of pink slime, antibiotics in our food, and tainted veggies I think people are getting more and more concerned about where the food comes from. The more I learn about our food, the more I want to know exactly where it is coming from. This obviously isn’t always possible, but buying a large portion of our food from farms is one way we do the best we can. And buying it from farmers I “know” has the added benefit of keeping my money local which is really important to me.

Another important thing to me is that our kids understand that food isn’t grown at the grocery store. That sounds like an odd thing to say but I would venture to say that a lot of kids don’t know that their hamburger comes from a cow. That their veggies are grown in giant piles of black dirt. And that cheese shouldn’t be flurescent orange. My kids once asked me where the lamb they were eating came from…… (they’re really smart, I promise)

It is pretty awesome to be able to have direct conversations with the people growing my food and meat. I know who handles it, how they handle it, what they feed it, and how it gets to me. In the case of my CSA I even get to help harvest it.

How important is it to you to know where your food comes from? How important is it to you to have conversations with the people who grow your food? Now thanks to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance website FoodDialogues.com and Facebook page you can do just that!

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I checked out their Facebook page in preparation for this post and loved the dialogue going on about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), labeling, organic vs. natural, factory farming and more. If you don’t have access to farmers in your community and you are concerned about what is going on with our food system I think this is a great resource.

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance wants to get the word out about this great resource. They also want to offer you a fabulous giveaway. One reader will win a Crock-Pot Programmable 6-Quart Slow Cooker and 2 reusable designer shopping bags from Envirosax (I am so in love with these sacks and use them everyday. I have even written about my love for them before).

To enter the giveaway leave a comment about what concerns you have about our current food system. The giveaway is open until Sunday, April 15th to US residents only. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored but HELLO, I get to talk about something I am super passionate about. So obviously all opinions are my own. While I was compensated for my time, I did not get the fabulous prize package. Maybe you could share?

Comments

  1. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, I was an elementary teacher. Seeing little girls start going through puberty when they were 7 and 8 terrified me! Though partly due to specific details about their environment, I believe much of the cause is chemicals in our food. If the chemicals are making apples twice their standard size, what are they doing to our bodies? I don’t want to put those chemicals into my children!
    Carrie Fremont recently posted…kidney updateMy Profile

  2. SO many concerns about current food production – it’s horrible what all can go into our food & still be approved by the FDA but yet other things like raw milk could be illegal to sell b/c it’s not approved! I love to keep my money local as much as possible too and try to start where I can!

  3. Jessica F says:

    pink slime!! bleghhhh!

  4. I don’t even know where to start with my concerns – food dyes, other additives, ridiculous labeling laws, gmo’s, extruded processed crap that barely resembles anything your digestive system recognizes as food, political donors influencing the food supply – that’s just the tip of the iceberg!!
    Jen @ BigBinder recently posted…Spring Is Here! And Asparagus Is Not, But Here Is A Recipe Anyway.My Profile

  5. I’d say my biggest concern is based on my ignorance on all this. You know what I mean? I need to just do the research and decide what changes my family is going to make instead of just being vaguely scared of and annoyed by the whole topic! But at the moment, I’d say my most specific concern is whether the dairy we eat is causing physical changes in my daughter. I’ve done a little reading and am afraid it is…
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted…Monday Morning Mmmm: Oreo Pudding CakeMy Profile

  6. Jackie Fornetti says:

    One of the top 3 choices for sending my kids to St Thomas the Apostle school was for their food program. A trained culinary chef follows the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution, makes meals from scratch, purchases from local farms when available, and the salad bar is full of fresh fruit/veggie choices everyday! I Love that my kids get REAL food at home and school. I wish more schools would make healthier menus for our children.

  7. Jessie C. says:

    To name just a few concerns, additives and chemicals.

  8. Patricia Crowley says:

    The pink slime publicity was very eye opening for me. I worry about hormones and whatever other additive they put into “fresh” foods…

  9. Amanda says:

    My MIL buys organic however with no real set standard on what qualifies as organic it is truly hard to buy the right foods for the little ones.
    Amanda recently posted…Keep Calm and Take Your Pills #HAWMCMy Profile

    • Have you heard of the “dirty dozen”? It is a great guide to help you decide what to buy organic and what not to worry about as much.

  10. Shelley says:

    I watched the documentary Food Inc. not long ago and had to turn it off. We buy local as much as possible, and hope to buy part of a cow this year!

  11. We have a hobby farm and grow large quantities of asparagus, strawberries, tomatoes and such. Our four boys help us farm this land. Nothing irritates me more than people who show up to buy our stuff and then give us a speech on how we are not organic enough. You can buy your food wherever you please, but if this our land and my precious children are living on it with us. Hello!, we will do nothing to even slightly harm them in any way.

    Farmers work hard to, yes make money on their food, but to grow the best possible food in the safest way possible. It is some of the hardest work you can do. Please keep that in mind.

    I didn’t get that from your post, it just happens to be my soapbox when someone refuses to buy asparagus because it isn’t “organic”. Nope. But we eat it right in the field and it’s the best stuff I have ever eaten! :)

    Thank you for supporting your local farmer!!! I know my regular customers and miss them in the down months. It’s such a fun community!!! :)
    Denise D. recently posted…How to Pose for a Great PictureMy Profile

  12. Deanna says:

    So many things! All the chemicals. How Monsanto is controlling so many things and organizations. The artificial colors in so many foods. I don’t care how brightly colored my food is, I’d rather it be “dull” and chemical free. I hope that people in America see what’s going on and decide to make a stand against all these companies that are selling us garbage at the same time as selling other countries a better product.

  13. I am concerned about the processed state of foods in our country. We try to eat as natural as possible, but life on the road often makes that difficult.
    LaVonne recently posted…A Tisket A Tasket Spring Giveaway HopMy Profile

  14. Heather says:

    I hate the thought of not knowing what is actually in my food. If it’s going to be a GMO food – or there is something besides beef cuts straight out of the grinder – I’d like to know!! My feeling is – if there really are no issues with it ( and *I* believe there are) there would be no reason to not label accordingly.

    I want to have the choice of eating what I want – instead of assuming the government knows best and my food can contain all kinds of additives I wouldn’t choose to use.

  15. Melissa says:

    Hey Jill, just one concern? Wow! I’m really new to this idea of eating local, knowing where your food comes from, etc., but I think my main concern is the lack of education. We have all just accepted that our food is made with HFCS, we don’t know where it comes from or how it affects us, but we go with it. Does that make sense?

    Thanks:)

  16. Christie says:

    I eat what I want right now…convenience can be king. But I’m about to have a baby, and realizing how my food choices affect her dramatically scares me!

  17. Sally Brown says:

    I am concerned about foods and learning more. I hate how the FDA approves things that are just money makers (even tho I love diet coke….). And I am strongly considering buying a freezer to purchase a 1/4 cow and am also considering the farm for fruit/veggies. But the raw stuff still scares me.

  18. Sally Brown says:

    By raw stuff I meant raw milk.

  19. Amy T. says:

    So many concerns. One of my biggest is the shocking number of people who never grow any of their own food, ever. Nothing. Zip. Nada. I also live Envirosax. Got a freebie a couple years ago at Balcony. Unfortunately, it blew away in Target parking lot one windy shopping trip. :(

  20. Leigh says:

    Honestly, I get so concerned when I think about the masses of people who don’t know better and continue to buy this “food” that is so bad for us. It’s overwhelming, and I start to think there’s nothing I can do! But I know I can feed my family local, organic, whole food, and it’s a start!

  21. Thanks for sharing this great resource! My hubby and I have been on a journey to seek healthy foods for the last several years. He is a personal trainer and teaches nutrition classes in lots of settings. I’m most concerned about the way unhealthy and very harmful food is marketed to our children. Our family has recently started a grain-free diet and we try to use raw dairy when possible. We also just bought a grass-fed cow and shared it with our friends!

  22. Manda says:

    I, too, am concerned about over-processed food and the harm it has done to the past few generations. Also, the availabilty and cheapness of those foods. With families pressed hard for every dollar sometimes it is hard to pay for the good, local produce and meats.

    • It really is frustrating. Our food budget went up when we changed the way we eat but I think we can pay now or pay later in medical bills :)

  23. I am overwhelmingly concerned with the amount of preservatives in foods today. I live on a farm and there are still things that I obviously can’t get fresh, but I would love to be able to get in touch with a CSA in my area to increase the number of things I can get fresh!

  24. Kristen says:

    I worry about all the processed food and all the hidden sodium.

  25. Lori S says:

    Pink slime really bothers me. Ever since I saw Jamie Oliver talking about it on Food Revolution, I stopped buying ground beef.

    Thanks!

  26. Rondah says:

    I’m concerned about the additives and the dyes put in our food

  27. what they injected the animals with like hormones etc.
    thanks for the giveaway

  28. Laura Jacobson says:

    Oh thats a tough question. I dont know much about where the food comes from, but made it my new years resolution to eat healthier this year! I am taking small steps to learn what I can about how our food is made, and its really scarey! I worry about all the chemicals in our food, but also worry about illnesses if the food is not processed. I developed celiac disease 4 years ago. I wonder what the cause of it would be….was it food I ate? Or the cooking process? I worry about the microwave sometimes too! I definatly have alot to learn!

  29. Carmen says:

    I’m concerned about genetically-modified foods, antibiotics and the chemicals that are added to our foods.