There is a large movement today trying to educate people to be more aware of where their food comes from – as opposed to the movement people have where their food ends up. This has never been a problem for those of us in the farming community.
Case in point, the annual “Original Testicle Festival” every year in Vining, Iowa. If you happen to attend, don’t go to the dance in the Grand Ballroom; it’s not what you think.
You would think, being a farmer in rural areas, we would be away from the riffraff of city life, but it seems every 14 months they come up with a new word that describes what we grow or raise for people to eat. When did food packaging dictate farming trends?
Organic, farm-raised, pasture-fed, GMO-free, antibiotic-free and cage-free – these are terms telling us what we’ve always done. We were in style and didn’t even know it.
I feel that, more importantly than twisting food labels, how about knowing where the food originated? I’m starting a new campaign; it’s called “Eat Local, Live Longer!”
I’m not asking America to just eat vegetables and fish. Trust me when I say I love fair food and anything on a stick as much as the next fat guy. I’m just asking America to buy food made from inside the U.S. It’s safer.
Every day we import fruits and vegetables from Mexico. Every fruit and vegetable on this earth is 80 percent water. The one universal truth we all know about Mexico: Don’t drink the water.
India is the third-largest exporter of beef to the rest of the world. India is also 80 percent Hindu, which believes cows to be re-incarnated deceased relatives. Yes, that’s right. Granny wasn’t just big-boned; apparently, she is $4 a pound on the hoof.
These people refuse to eat cows from their own country, but it’s just fine for the rest of the world to enjoy. Then again, maybe these Indian people are on to something. What family doesn’t have that one person we wouldn’t mind sending to another part of the globe?
These days it’s dangerous for kids to play with toys from China, and yet it’s OK for little Timmy to drink the apple juice shipped over on the same boat. If a farm were rat-infested and used child labor, the USDA would shut it down yesterday.
But if that farm loaded food products into a shipping container that arrived here in the U.S., that food would be considered exotic. The term “exotic food” means, “We have no idea where this food came from or what’s in it; hope you have health insurance.”
When you need dental advice, you ask your dentist. When you need money advice, you ask your accountant. So if you want to know where your food originated from, quit asking the high school lunch lady. Ask a farmer!
Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and standup comedian.
- Florida Dairy Farmer
- And Stand-up Comedian
- Email Tim Moffett