I am what I eat. And, because I am what I eat, I want to know what I am. And, what I’m eating.
Say that three times fast.
Since we started eating foods grown or raised within 100 miles of Portland, Oregon every other week, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to farmers, ranchers and butchers. Since the markets that we shop do not have the local food information we need, I have turned directly to my community to help ensure that what I eat is grown or raised within 100 miles. Our experience is that markets only know the location of their foods’ distributor, not necessarily the producer’s location.
This picture above is messy and discovering where my food comes from shouldn’t be messy. Messiness creases unsafe conditions. Think trying to get to your desk at home when the floor is strewn with laundry and other junk. Think breaking a jar of pickles trying to reach the mustard in the back of the fridge.
Here is a great video about how messy tracking food can be from PBS.
PBS report on tracking food
When middle people are added to the food equation, the messines factor goes up. Since I am what I eat, I will not take any chances.
I want to know where my food comes from so I can know exactly what’s going into my body. Knowing where my food comes from helps increase the safety of the food and consequently my body. I do enough bad things to my body; I don’t want food to be one of them.
So far, we’ve not found wheat grown within 100 miles of Portland. And, we love bread and cookies, so this is a problem. However, we have connected with Karl Kupers from Shepherd’s Grain Farm who grows wheat in eastern Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
I called Karl to see which bakeries buy his flour since I have friends who want to buy baked goods with wheat grown closer to home. Karl gave me a few places to try but could not give me a complete list because the distributors and producers are separated. There is no synergy between the two groups. They do not play nice in the sand box. What could be a mutually beneficial relationship that makes money turns into a nightmare for the consumer trying to be educated about where their food grows.
Right now, I have the time to do the research. Since I am what I eat, using my time researching is important to me. I may not always have this time and I am thankful to start this habit so when we have crazy weeks, I will be armed with the right information.