Monday, June 11, 2012

Educated Food Choices

Every Sunday morning during the months of May and June, my oldest brother Brett and I venture off bright and early to Lincoln to the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market.  We take tomatoes, european cucumbers, cabbage and a few pumpkin baked goods.

For some reason, at Nebraska farmers markets, tomatoes are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for most market goers. They wait all year to come to market and buy fresh tomatoes straight from the growers hands. But over time I have began to notice a weekly trend.  Usually, every Sunday we get at least two customers who ask about the growing conditions of our tomatoes, in questions like, "Do you spray your tomatoes?", "Is there chemicals on these?", "Are these grown in dirt?". 

So before I continue here is just a quick overview. Our produce is not organic and we do use fertilizers.  We also use pesticides and herbicides if needed.  When growing produce in a greenhouse, one bug problem or plant disease can damage an entire crop and that is a risk that we as vegetable growers feel we can't take,  so we will spray if the inevitable happens. But we are very cautious and caring of our environment and crops and do not use chemicals when unnecessary.

So now back to my story.  A few weeks ago we had several incidents in one day involving customers questioning our growing practices.  Now let me just say, I have no problem with either organic or non organic, but I am not just talking about those two, I am also taking about corn fed beef vs grass feed beef, free range vs confinement and many others. But what I do have a problem with is when it comes to food choices and consumers making choices before educating themselves as to why they are choosing one over the other. 

So I ask you, are you making educated choices when it comes to food? Or are you just assuming one is better and listening to television personalities or social media to make your decisions.  Farmers and ranchers work extremely hard everyday to produce high quality and safe food products for each and every consumer, so we as consumers should return the favor and work hard to educate ourselves about where our food comes from and how it is produced before we make a decision.

that's what she said...

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