in

Does ‘Farm to Table’ Mean Safer Food?

Farm to Table

Farm to Table may not mean what you think it means. If you anything like me, you might be eating more fruits and vegetables as a Vegan or Vegetarian.  You’ve decided to stay away from meat, maybe even dairy and eggs so naturally, you’ll be consuming more grains, fruits, vegetables.

Are they as safe as we’d like to believe?

First, “Farm-to-table” is a phrase that can mean different things to different people. At its heart, however, “farm-to-table” means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm, without going through a store, market, or distributor along the way.

Sounds good right.

But what if you aren’t getting your food right from the farm but it’s supposed to be fresh.

In most cases, Farm to Table is more of a movement to get food from the producer directly to where it’s consumed: School, restaurants, etc.

but is it the same as organic, healthy, non GMO foods? Just because it comes from a farm doesn’t always make it the best product to eat.

Locally grown food does not always mean organic.  It depends on how it’s farm.

Here’s something to consider…

Farm to Table

a tassel of corn grows in a field on Pioneer Hi-Bred International land in Waialua, Hawaii.

IS FARM TO TABLE BETTER?

The rest of this article shares curated content from Forks Over Knives about how the way we farm is making us sick. 

More than $3 trillion our nation spent in 2016 on healthcare did not actually go toward making people healthy. This money was spent on chronic illness, supporting a medical care system that results in a life sentence of doctor visits, drugs, procedures, and pain.

STATISTICS LIKE THAT ARE STAGGERING!

When I think Farm to Table, I think organically grown, healthy foods for human consumption but that is NOT always the case. Even after moving to Kauai and thinking I had made a decision to pursue a much healthier lifestyle which would be easier to attain on the very green Garden Isle.

What I came to learn was that big money buys land, even on Kauai and a big portion of what is grown on the island, isn’t healthy. GMO (genetically modified) and Monsanto are words that come to mind here and bring up a whole array of issues on Kauai.

Farming as some of us (those old enough to have lived back then) know it, has changed!

AS EARLY AS THE 70’S, FARMING WAS CHANGING

In 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed Earl Butz as Secretary of Agriculture. As head of the USDA, Butz drastically changed American farming by shifting federal Farm Bill subsidies that had been in place since the Great Depression, from small family farmers to large, industrial-sized agribusinesses. Butz urged farmers to “Get big or get out,” and rewarded them for planting commodity crops like corn and soybeans “from fence row to fence row.”

The subsidies encouraged the overproduction of massive amounts of corn and soy. Remarkably, the vast majority of these corn and soy crops are not grown for human consumption, but end up as feed for animals. All of this feed made it possible to construct enormous Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Large numbers of animals are warehoused in these crowded CAFOs and fed corn- and soy-based diets that sicken and fatten them up in record time. The result? A bounty of cheap, unhealthy, taxpayer-subsidized animal and processed foods that are the basis of the Standard American Diet, otherwise known as SAD.

IT GET’S WORSE… AND THIS SCARES ME VERY MUCH. IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO AVOID

Industrially farmed, subsidized corn, soy, and wheat underpin the American food system.

If you are serious about avoiding heart attacks and cancer, you’ll want to avoid 80 to 85 percent of shelf space in the average American supermarket.

These shelves are filled with animal-based and/or highly processed foods derived from subsidized corn, soy, and wheat.

The irony: These relatively cheap foods cause very expensive diseases and environmental destruction, making them the most expensive foods ever grown

Having recently just become aware of an existing wheat allergy, I’ve been learning how to navigate the grocery story, fast food, restaurant and even church potluck. My goal is to avoid foods that make me feel worse after eating.

Honestly, pretty much left with fruits and vegetables, potatoes and brown rice an I now read ingredients on everything.

Truth is, due to all the chemicals, it’s just easier to eat something has has no label.

but is it safer?

Sadly, no.  With agriculture becoming polluted with chemicals, I find it is more prudent to be vigilant about organic produce, and products as well.  I’m having to make a choice between locally grown (with chance of contamination) or something shipped in as organic but grown without chemicals.

WHAT’S MAKING US SICK?

The same federal ag policies that make us sick also make our planet sick. 

The farming practices that underpin our healthcare crisis also degrade our environment.

To grow vast swaths of these monoculture crops, enormous amounts of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are required. Many of these agricultural chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and carcinogens that are thought to alter human DNA down through the generations.

During my lifetime alone, annual worldwide pesticide production has increased from 200,000 tons to more than 5 million tons, according to estimates from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It has gotten to the point that many of these chemicals now rain down upon us. These pesticides wipe out beneficial and native wildlife such as honey bees, monarch butterflies, and songbirds.

Many chemicals now “Rain Down Upon Us?”

On Kauai it rains everywhere on the island, even on organically grown crops. So are the people growing non GMO, Pesticide Free actually having crops contaminated?

I’ll leave that discussion for a future post.

For now, I’d love to hear your comments, knowledge, and ideas on this topic.

Leave us a comment and share your thoughts or contact us with any questions. 

To Your Good Health

Regina

What do you think?

Written by Mel Ebenstein

I am a marketer and entrepreneur. I have avoided meat for decades, but became vegan, in 2014, on the advice of my cardiologist. The purpose of this site is not to convince everyone to become strictly vegan, but to encourage people that they are best advised to eat as much plant based food as possible and to provide information, including recipes and other articles, for both vegans and non-vegans alike.

What is Tofu: It’s What’s for Vegan Dinner

The Vegan Transition: Advice from a Plant-Based Diet Doc