Working in Extension and the nutrition field lets me see eating in a holistic way. I don’t mean someone meditating about dinner–but how food influences everything we do. As my friend Alice states–”we all eat!” Eating involves food. Where does our food come from? If you ask a school age child, they may say the grocery store!
Food starts at a farm. A farmer plans out his crops/animals, and puts out lots of money and time to provide food for people they will never meet, in hopes of making a profit. Most of the time, depending on the weather and season, they may just break even, or even lose money. These farmers use the highest technology possible to determine water needs, fertilizer, crop rotation, etc…. They are some of the most intelligent people in the world. They have to be. We reply on them to provide safe, healthy food for the nation. They have a tough job!
During the Super Bowl this year, a commercial ran called “So God Made a Farmer.” It was narrated by Paul Harvey. It spoke of the important jobs that farmers do. It really said it all! Even though it was an advertisement for Dodge Trucks, it really drove home the point that farming is not easy.
After the farm, there are manufacturers/processors who take crops and animals, and place them in forms we want to eat. There are farmers markets where we can get local produce and food items. There are CSA’s. We can get healthy, wonderful foods from all over. The grocery store is just one place to get food.
Next time you sit down with your family for a meal, consider all of the people that were involved in getting that food to you–and quietly thank them!