Meet Your Farmer and get your ‘FarmOn’

Posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017 12:15 am
By Tessa Edick
For Columbia-Greene Media

 

What does healthy mean to you? The packaging that envelops your food says so, or the farmer who grows the food you eat told you?

 

Our food choices today impact our food ways tomorrow and it starts with allocation of our food dollars.

 

Yes, you can get your farm on with the FarmOn! Foundation and connect to where your food comes from — meet your farmer and vote with your food dollars!

 

Farmers won’t lie to you. They won’t trick you with false claims or fancy packaging to make a buck.

 

They would never dupe you into thinking you are buying healthy, fresh food when you are not — that would be shameful.

 

Instead, farmers work tirelessly to feed you because they love the work, are stewards of the land, loyal to the care of their families, crops and animals.

 

Getting rich is not a guiding principle for tireless work, but they deserve a fair, living wage for the food they supply, and we eat.

 

By paying a fair price for fresh, local organic food, we show our commitment to opt out of processed food and support family farms.

 

The loudest voices we hear about the fight for good food policy are critics or lobbyists threatening starvation and too many mouths to feed globally to opt out of processed food. I’m here to tell you they are lying.

 

You can grow your own fresh food; you can care for chickens and cook everyday. And with a conscience of any kind, you are obligated to do this and teach your children how to plant and cook and eat fresh from the garden, too.

 

Eating local saves communities and preserves livelihoods — it makes your health better and food taste fresher. It is nutrient-dense and supports sustainable farming.

 

That’s rich — and makes farmers the real stars in food you want to meet. Who’s your Starmer?

 

Why does it matter, you ask? When obesity rates continue to rise — and 1 in 3 children under the age of 10 are dangerously overweight — that’s 33 percent of our youth put at risk for shortened and unhealthy lives just from eating unhealthy, overly processed cheap and packaged food.

 

Kids are the victims here. They are being tricked by the biggest lies in the food business with toys, prizes and catchy packaging that choose wealth over health and teach convenience over nutrition, which keeps communities and their kids overfed, starving to death and obese.

 

What can we do to keep kids healthy, keep farmers farming and rebuild rural economies?

 

We can start by finding out where our food comes from and who is feeding us what and how. We can forgo convenience as our motivation to feed ourselves and invest any money you would spend on anything ancillary just to eat better, plant seed, buy local food, learn to cook and prevent unhealthy lifestyles.

 

If health were revered like wealth, what would you invest in to eat?

 

The time is now. The truth is available and it all starts at small-scale family farms. Meet your farmer and get involved with where your food comes from — with seed, soil, cooking and baking.

 

So this year, get connected to the farm. Take a family trip to a local farm or visit an urban rooftop farm, shop at a farmer’s market, join a CSA or ask the grocer where do my eggs, dairy and meat come from?

 

Not only will the reward be delicious taste, but rebuild rural economies and get kids active outdoors again, too.

 

Support these activities as productive and rewarding to foster a lifetime of health and wellness. Everything you ever need to know in life, you learn at the farm.

 

Stop by Empire Farm in Copake on June 3 or 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to sign up for meal plans with local ingredients, scholarships for youth, cooking classes, summer camp or just to volunteer and plant a seed in the soil with your kids.

 

Plant a seed, grow a carrot, pull and eat that carrot — your experience with fresh, healthy food changes for life.

 

Fall in love with food all over again. See you at the Farm! FarmOn!

 

Open Farm Day is June 3 and 4 at Empire Farm, located at 556 Empire Road in Copake.

 

For more information, call 518-329-FARM or visit farmonfoundation.org. Questions or comments? Email Tessa Edick at tessa@farmonfoundation.org.

 

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