Thoughts From The Farm: Parent Power
Hi there local food eaters,
We hope you are all staying cool in this pre summer heat wave. We are managing well on the farm, mainly making sure that all the livestock have adequate water and shade access at all times.
Some thoughts about the power of moms and dads...
Lately, I've been thinking about the power of moms to create change in our food system. I wanted to call this email Mom Power. But women are no longer the sole food shoppers/cookers and childcare providers that they were in past generations, even though we still take primary responsibility for this task in many families.
More important than WHO does what, is WHY you are doing it. I have found, personally and through observation, that having children is extremely motivating. Many times people simply don't change their eating habits until they have strong reason to, in the form of aches and pains, a serious diagnosis, or too much weight. But another primary driver of changing to healthier habits is wanting to do it for the sake of your baby and children. It is like my friend who couldn't quit smoking - until she got pregnant, and quit immediately. Her reasons for herself were simply not motivating enough to drive her to change her habits. But when it was about LOVE, about caring for an unborn child, then she could do it easily.
This is what I'm calling "parent power" instead of Mom power, because you dads definitely have it too, I see you! It is the driving force of care that provides meaning to our everyday choices, and even allows us to make theharder choice in the moment (requiring more $, more time) in order to reap the long term benefits of health and wellbeing that comes from consistent high quality nourishing food choices.
By our rough estimations, over 80% of our customers are parents who are highly motivated to feed their family well. Often, we see parents initially seek out healthier food options when they become pregnant for the first time. I just have to say that I love meeting new customers who are expecting, and we love meeting their beautiful babies and seeing them grow!
Side note - I hope all you pregnant mamas out there are staying cool and comfortable as this gal who is ready to pop at the moment ;)
Consumer Driven Change
After sharing what I've learned about the potential dangers of glyphosate in our food supply in the past few weeks, I just learned that there is a new "Glyphosate-Residue-Free" label that is already on or on its way to products on store shelves. In 2014, a Consumer Reports survey showed that 85% of customers are worried about pesticides in their food.
This label will test end products to ensure that glyphosate residues are limited to .1 to 20 parts per billion, depending on the food. In theory, any food that is certified organic should also meet these standards. This testing would reveal if any contamination occurs when the food is grown and processed, and would ultimately help farmers and food processors to find ways to reduce exposure. This private testing certification, like the "nonGMO project verified" label, would be used by companies who are wanting to appeal to the growing number of consumers who are conscientious about the safety of the food they buy. It would therefore increase public awareness and availability of higher quality food products as well as increasing the demand for the responsibly grown and processed foods.
This is one example of consumer-driven change. This is not policy driven, in which our government agencies mandate changes (not to say we don't need that too), but 'organic' change, from the ground up.
I sometimes feel that the problems in our world are so big that I can't make a difference. But then I remember that my actions DO matter - because I am one of many doing what I believe in to positively influence the direction of agriculture towards greater health and sustainability.
I want you all to know that what you do matters. By feeding your family well, you are improving your personal health. You are also influencing the food system, also supporting local sustainable agriculture, and also contributing to environmentally friendly solutions.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for being part of changing our food system with your choices!
Brooks Miller and Anna Santini