I’ve said it many times, and had to hear it often myself in the early days after my “food conversion”: unless you get to know your farmer, you won’t know for sure how your food is grown.
Thank you Jen for sending me a link to the following video that gives us all a great reminder. (This was too shocking and too important to wait until Monday’s mix-up post!)
While we’d like the easy way out, and to be able to blindly believe every vendor at the farmer’s markets, unfortunately we can’t do that.
My favorite farm market vendors at Earthkeeper Farm are now my friends, too. I’ve been to their farm a couple times, and even interviewed them for my Rookie class. I’ve seen firsthand how the food is grown and heard the passion in Andrew & Rachelle’s voices for their sustainable methods. That’s why they are my first (and often only) stop for produce at our farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. There is now another chemical-free vendor there, but I don’t know them at all and have yet to visit their farm.
Watch the video and let me know what you think:
False Claims, Lies Caught on Tape at Farmers Markets (from NBC Los Angeles)
- Have you gotten to know your farmer well? Do you visit the farms where you buy from at the market?
- More about Andrew & Rachelle’s farm
- Have you seen the ads for Brix meters on my blog recently? Here’s a great post that tells all about them: the Quest for Nutrient Dense Food and High Brix Farming
- The importance of healthy soil with Jay McCaman
[email protected] 21st Century Housewife says
This is an excellent post. It is so important to know your suppliers and not be afraid to ask questions. I’ve been experiencing a lot of this recently as I am planning a big party for our son’s 18th which I will need to have catered- I think a lot of the caterers are surprised I am asking about local suppliers and sources, but it is just so important to know what you are eating and serving!
Heather M says
My Dad told me (unbeknownst to him about your post) today about a farmer from Lapeer who sells “his” produce at Eastern Market in Detroit that is doing the same thing that your video shows. This particlular guy was buying his non orgainic produce from his very own neighbor and selling it along with other peoples he would buy-up around him. People have no shame:(
Stanley Fishman says
So crucial to know your farmer.I always question a farmer about their farms and practices before I buy from them. if they do not give good answers, or seem nervous, I know something is wrong. When I question a farmer about their produce, I pay careful attention to any feelings I get. If something does not feel right, I trust my instincts and just walk away.
Its sad that you can’t trust somebody just because they are at a farmer’s market, but you can’t.
Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama says
AH!!! That is why I am glad that the vast majority of what I buy comes directly from farms, people that I know. I helped pick the produce! I’ve seen the operation repeatedly and the farmers were more than happy to talk to me at length.
So much so (you’re going to love this) that I’m going to interview one of them on my blog very soon. He used to be a confinement farmer, and switched to sustainable methods about 5 years ago (yes, I’ve thoroughly discussed all this with him and examined all of his farm many times and know he HAS switched completely!). He’s told me all kinds of stories about the way things are done on confinement farms. He confirmed that companies DO call you frequently to offer leftover baked goods, chips, even BUBBLEGUM to see if you want it for cattlefeed. Yup…that’s not just a story. I’ll have that coming up at the end of October. 🙂
Heather M says
How I learned to expand my egg knowledge. There is a “farmer” at a farm market that I go to who sells lots of eggs and the frige is visable, it is mixed with brown and white. I asked him what the difference is between brown and white and his answer was, “brown is richer”. One, there is way too many eggs in the frige for him not to be lieing in someway, plus, there is no difference in taste between the color of the eggs. It is (as you know) the sign of the breed:)
Heather M says
Not surprising, but very sad. People will not stop at nothing. Here in Oakland County, MI I have been to several farmers markets and and there have been a few farmers that I suspect I lied to me. And I had that feeling at the time I was standing in front of them.
Laura L L says
Wow, very good idea to know your farmer! What an eye opener
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist says
Shocking but not surprising. The local food movement will attract those trying to make a quick buck as well as those who are sincere in what they are doing. There is no substitute for knowing your farmers personally and, if possible, visiting the farms yourself.
I think you can trust certified organic, because lying about that means huge fines, so I don’t believe most would risk it.
Can you visit the farms of a couple of your favorite vendors? Also, just ask the vendors more questions when you’re there. As you talk to them more and get to know them (don’t be afraid to ask where each food is grown), you’ll learn who can be trusted. Try not to ask questions that can be answered with just a yes or no.
Also, ASK them if you can visit their farm. Most who are passionate about growing food well will be glad to have you come visit!
Kelly (I think I’ll add this info to the post, thanks for asking that question!)
This is video made me so sad and so frustrated…Especially living in Los Angeles and being a frequent visitor of some of the farmers markets shown in the video. I guess in the back of my mind I’ve always known I could not 100% trust what the say or claim, but it was much easier to just blindly believe them. I just feel like you can’t trust anyone anymore and its sad especially when I go to the effort of going to these farmers markets for my family every week so that I can feed them the best I can. Makes me want to have my own lab at home and test everything that I buy. I can’t help but to feel hopeless because I don’t see how I could possibly “get to know” all the farmers I buy produce from…is it better to stick with the farmers that are “certified organic” or can you not trust that either?