These days, when “sustainability” is mainstream and everyone is throwing around phrases like “natural,” “organic,” and “responsibly grown,” it’s hard to navigate the tangle of words, rhetoric, and jargon to get at the truth of what’s best for our planet.
One of those little sound bites you’ve likely heard if you try to eat responsibly is, “Know your farmer.”
But do you understand why this is so important? Earth Day was last month and really should be talked about and practiced every day, so here at Hawaiian Organic Noni, we’re unpacking some of our company’s sustainability ethic, as well as explaining a few of the organic practices we use every day on the farm to do our part.
Today, let’s dive into that issue of knowing your farmers!
Food: The Faceless Commodity
Knowing your farmer is far from the norm in today’s industrial agricultural society. Most people buy food from supermarkets, which, despite the often colorful marketing language on food packaging, comprise an institution designed to turn food into a transactional commodity rather than a social, cultural experience.
But this trend starts way before the food reaches the supermarket. Since World War II, giant companies have been swallowing up America’s small and midsized farms in favor of enormous monocultures of corn and soybeans. These commodity products come to us in the form of processed foods, further removing us from the actual fields where farming is done.
The amount of time people spend engaged with shopping for and preparing their food is decreasing while the number of calories we eat steadily increases. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that there’s been a corresponding rise in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other “Western” diseases as a result.
Finally, we want to get back to that idea of food as a cultural experience. That perspective is dying in this country as more of us buy food from self checkout, eat alone in our cars, and buy processed foods made by some of the biggest corporations in the world.
But farmers are pretty awesome people, with a lot to teach about food and nutrition! The best part is, most of us love to share what we know about nutrition, gardening, and sustainability with you. There’s no knowledge hoarding or industry secrets here. We believe transparency is the path back to food that is nutritious, sustainably-grown, and truly satisfying.
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