What to Know: Real Food from Real Farmers

I was thinking the other day of the growth I've had as a "farmer".  I was like many in society, not truly knowing where my food came from, not knowing what healthy food looked like, not understanding farming practices or what the difference between hay and pasture grass was.  I have grown as a person in understanding what goes into our food, and I wanted to share that growth with you. Maybe you will recognize yourself in the process?

My Food Journey

I remember having a conversation with him when we first started dating in 2010, we were both Jewel-Osco (grocery store) employees.  I saw parents buying organic produce, but mostly just junk.  I told David I wanted my kids to eat "real" food - even if we had to spend more.  But then I ate a ton of processed food all the time, I don't know what made me think I would magically be eating differently once I had kids.  

I watched the documentary Food, Inc. in college where the narrator explained that marketers have taken the animal off the meat label.  They are trying to separate out for consumers, where their food actually came from.  They don't want customers to be aware that it came from an animal.  Then David and I got married and while at Tractor Supply Company, David convinced me to get egg layers.  We had to clip their wings so they couldn't fly away and I cried the entire time.  Now I can pick up a dead chicken and properly dispose of it.  

So if you have trouble with eating grocery store meat because you struggle knowing it was once an animal, I've been there.  I understand how hard that is and how disconnected we are from where our food comes from.  So I wanted our farm to be different.  

Whole Animals Not Parts

When selling meat, it can really tempting to discard items that aren't sold.  There's cuts of meat people don't want, organ meat that isn't popular, bones that turn people away from buying our meat.  It can be tempting to buy more meat birds to just sell more breasts.  But David and I realize that to honor the animal we must eat as much of the animal as we can.  So if we are not able to sell all the offal, we shouldn't boost production.  

This also means we run out of popular products.  We have sold more wings than any other cut of chicken, so we have run out.  We could buy more meat birds just to get more breast and wings, but the thighs and drumsticks would be wasted.  We'd be sitting on too much product and would eventually have to throw it away as a loss.  That doesn't sit right with us. 

Small Family Farm

We want to pass our farm down to our family.  This means we need the pasture to be healthy, the animals to be happy, and our farm to be profitable.  No kid wants to work at a job that doesn't make money.  To give our kids something to inherit, we are ensuring that they are raised on land that is thriving, with food that is good for them (and you!), all so they can carry on the legacy of truly knowing where their food came from.