Our class visited a local farm Saturday. With this trip, we received more of the practical side of how people farm the land. Greg, the owner, showed us around the barn. We saw the miniature horse and quarter horses and sheep. We walked three more steps and boom! There are the draft horses. They were so tall and muscular. Using draft horses wasn’t an idea that crossed my mind to make farmers less vulnerable to oil prices. To give us a farm tour, he brought those draft horses out and hooked up the cart. We got the full farm fragrance when one of the horses showed us where manure came from. Greg didn’t bat an eye and easily avoided it when setting up the cart. He then took us all over the property to show us the baby pine trees he recently planted to the moveable chicken coop all the while giving us little nuggets of insight.
Greg said something very important during his tour: “We get them with the eggs.” Look at the difference between the eggs in the bottom picture (Store-bought left, local right). He explained it further saying eggs aren’t extremely profitable so he uses them as a gateway for customers to feel comfortable and satisfied in order to make bigger purchases like half of a hog. If his customers consider buying locally produced eggs and taste the difference in his eggs’ quality from the mass produced food commodities, Greg’s customers might rethink other food choices. What if it’s not rethinking food choices but actually thinking of food choices? Documentaries like Fresh and Food, Inc. empower us to change the food system through our purchasing. Can the actions of conscious consumers really change the food system? Are we as consumers ready to accept this responsibility?