Why America Is Going Back to Local Farms
Let’s check in on the growing trend of people buying their meat, vegetables, fruit and other products from local farmers.
The reasons why are straightforward. They’re also exactly what you’d expect:
- Healthier foods
- Fresher foods
- Better for the environment
- Supporting the community
More people have learned in recent years about some of the unhealthy aspects of the industrial or commercial food industry. While the movement has been slow, consumers increasingly are moving away from processed food and back into buying plants and meat that are produced naturally, with no chemicals added.
Acabonac Farms, for example, never uses growth-promoting antibiotics or hormones on its cattle herd. The cattle are grass-fed throughout their lives. The farm also takes great care in using processes and techniques that are good for the East End environment.
It doesn’t get more environmentally-friendly than that.
Where Food Comes From
Everything behind the movement to support local farms and pasture-finished cattle comes from a simple question that consumers ask now more than ever: “Where does my food come from?”
Thanks to an abundance of documentaries, media stories and increased interest from academic institutions, information abounds about the downside of industrial farming.
The issues are many. They include increased nitrates in industrial crops, the use of pesticides and meat contamination that happens in slaughterhouses or during transportation. One need look no further than Consumer Reports, which frequently tests chicken. In one test, they found that 97 percent of all chicken breasts tested had potentially harmful bacteria.
Also, the rates for the presence of salmonella in the United States have remained steady since 1998, around 11 to 16 percent of chicken tested. That’s during a span when European countries have lowered the rates significantly.
That’s one example of the research that has led to more awareness of how food is made, processed and shipped in the U.S.
Local farms, on the other hand, are known for producing vegetables, fruit and beef that is more nutritious, safely handled and part of a natural, balanced diet. Local farms also do not have the issue of long transportation routes and the associated health hazards.
Millennials Help Drive Trend
Part of the trend to move back into organic farming and micro-farming involves Millennials. Statistically, that generation has preferred living in urban areas in larger numbers than previous generations. They’ve also turned many open spaces in the urban core over to micro-farming, from tiny backyards to rooftop gardens.
They’re not designed to feed more than one family and certainly not meant to make money. They provide another sign that Americans “increasingly reject cheap, processed food and embrace high-quality, responsibly-sourced nutrition,” according to Kimbal Musk, a board member of Tesla and SpaceX and co-founder of The Kitchen, restaurants that offer “real food from American farmers.”
Meanwhile, job postings have increased 500 percent in each of the past five years on a job board dedicated to those looking for internships and jobs on farms. Those working on local farms also express a great deal of interest in making a living while also sustaining the environment.
The people at Acabonac Farms know the joy of practicing sustainable ranching. And for the first time in history, more young Americans are discovering it, too. The number of farmers under 35 has increased for only the second time in 100 years, according to government numbers reported in the Washington Post, and 69 percent of them had college degrees.
They are part of the growing local food movement, working on small and mid-size farms and ranches, according to the Post.All these trends add up to more people interested in what they are eating and where their food comes from. For those with those same interests, consider buying our delicious, healthy and trusted beef online at AcabonacFarms.com.
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Also in In the Field
Cattle have a bad reputation among some in the environmental movement. They’ve been targeted as one of the main contributing factors to global warming, producing methane that has more impact on the greenhouse effect per kilogram than does carbon dioxide.
So, let’s just get rid of all the cows! Problem solved.
Not so fast.