Minnesota Farmer


Farmers, producing healthy food for you.

I worked the Minnesota State Fair booth for the Farm Bureau on the Friday before labor day and mostly had a good time.  There was one fellow who came into the building, looked at the displays and said “That’s a Lie.”

Now I was proud of the displays that we had there.  I thought they did a good job of explaining that food comes from farms and that farmers are proud of the job we are doing.  There was also a disconnect there.  The part of the display this fellow was pointing to told about all of the healthy food produced for us, but the display also contained some of the most processed of foods that are available.  Yes, those foods start out on the farm, but the farmer has nothing to do with the product consumers eat but except for a little raw product.

Our consumers have been demanding, and paying a premium for, easy to eat products.  Foods that are quickly moved from package to mouth are flying off of shelves.  Many of those products contain only a small amount of food value.  They are fried or baked, some further processing is done, and a mere 9 ounces, only a few pennies worth, of that farm product sells for between $1.49 and $3.99 on the shelf.  What you have on the shelf is processed to the point that it in no way resembles the farm product it contains, and it will have doubtful amounts of the nutrition it started with.  I would have to agree that those foods are not really healthy for us.

The same cannot be said for the only slightly processed foods that are not so quick to make it from package to mouth.  Raw meats, fruits, veggies, nuts and grains are not always easy to eat.  Some make the trip from farm to mouth with only the smallest of changes, others need a good cooks attention.  Surprise, those foods you buy raw or only slightly processed are better for you, and most times cheaper to buy.  These are the foods that farmers can be most proud of.

As more and more people come to value the healthy value of food products straight from the farm, we are seeing more and more people buying those fresh, or only slightly processed products.  I’m still proud to be a farmer who is producing healthy food for the world, but I am increasingly watching what I eat.  I want the real stuff as much as possible.  The foods that come with very few detours from the farms, forests and waters that produced them.

Michael

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1 Comment so far
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Well said. I’m just as guilty as other consumers of eating overly-processed foods. But I, too, am trying to eat better, choose food that is more farm-direct.

So…, my question here: How did you respond to the guy’s comment?

Comment by Minnesota Prairie Roots




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