Empty grocery store shelves highlight the real reason local farms provide extra value ... it is knowing we have a local food supply, are self-sufficient and food-secure.
Sadly, few discuss this added value or even think about it when they buy or eat their food.
What If ...
I think about and research this issue ALOT. I think of this when I decide who I buy food from and what companies I support.
It is why we eat seasonally and why we farm, raise heritage breeds, process food and share it with you.
Simply, small farms & local food provide self-sufficiency (or sustainability). Farms will not be there when we need them if we do not plan to support them now as they have been exiting at a scary pace for decades.
Local food production capacity needs to be protected because bad things happen & bad people exist so the best way to have peace of mind is to simply be prepared.
Regulations need to be revised to simplify buying directly from farms. The milk I buy should not have to travel to a processor then to a grocery store when the farm I want to buy milk from is my close neighbor.
Farmers should not be dumping milk when stores restrict how much milk you can buy
Once we lose the farms, the animal genetics, the processors & food skills (including cooking), we are incredibly vulnerable - especially if the internet goes down and we can't "Alexa" a solution.
I do not share this with you to be an alarmist. It simply is what it is and this discussion should occur at every water fountain and at every dinner table.
No matter what your budget is, you can talk about the true value of local food and bring awareness. Talk to your children (or friends) about where food comes from or better yet, plant a garden or cook with them.
The consumer has the power to shape change happening in our food systems right now. NOW is the time to talk about the future of food systems and use the power of our purchases to make a change.