Know your Food – Part Two

I posted a video blog the other day about the local food systems that have been started in Austin, TX. I think that there are some excellent model examples within the video that we can all learn from.

As many of you know that follow this blog, I am a big promoter of local foods. I believe in the system of knowing your farmer and having an open working relationship with them. I don’t think it matters if it’s the vegetables you buy or the milk you drink. Knowing the who, what, where, when and how of food production is crucial to getting the healthiest food for you and your family.

Yesterdays blog about the media coverage of Agriculture and food production showed just how limited our exposure is when it comes to food. Knowing your food isn’t just about the recipes, it’s all about the ingredients you put into the recipes.

Some people who read this blog are vegans or vegetarians, I understand your concerns over how meat is grown. It concerns me as well. But do you take the same amount of consideration into knowing how your veggies are grown, harvested and shipped?

Local topics of conversation lately have just hit the growing price concerns over meat. Unfortunately, most people do not pay attention to anything unless it’s right in their own neighborhoods. The southwest region of the US has seen massive drought conditions that have caused the national head count, reported recently by the USDA NASS report, to have hit a low not seen since 1952.

My personal opinion on beef is a little bit different. Yes, I do feel horrible for the cattle ranchers in that region and I do understand that many of them are losing the only way of life they have ever know. My opinion is that maybe now, farmers and ranchers will actually get paid a decent price for the food they produce.

If you want high quality meat and are willing to pay a fair market price to a local farmer, then please do so. Knowing and seeing how animals are raised and cared for should be part of your food choice conversations and THAT isn’t something your local supermarket can generally tell you.

3 thoughts on “Know your Food – Part Two”

  1. Excellent piece. Just…excellent. This is exactly the conversation we have every day as we talk about what we’re trying to build into Foodtree; the idea that most eaters just don’t have any insight into the food they eat or the people responsible for it gets more odd the more you think about it, nevermind the consequences of such opaqueness in the food system.

    We do think this kind of thing is something you CAN know at the store, or restaurant, or market. That’s not to undermine the idea of trying to source locally, but just to suggest that for something we all consume multiple times every day (and put into our children), we’ve grown accustomed to an incredibly low level of insight. A level of insight that doesn’t need to exist when we live in a world in which literally any information could be at our fingertips via smartphones and other technologies. Why can’t the grocery store tell you more about your food? Most want to, they are just now figuring out how.

    Any chance you’d be interested in contributing a piece like this to our blog at Foodtree? Or participate in our Food Advocate Series? You can check us out at, and our blog is at

    I love that LOCAL doc you shared as well. Awesome.

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