Wow! That’s a loaded, controversial, non-politically correct question.
But I’ll still ask it…..and then I’ll give you the answer.
YES!! Yes, you are. If you purchase your food at the grocery store, you are on government aid. Meat, Veggies, Dairy, it doesn’t matter. If it is at the grocery store (and not sourced from a local farmer as some grocery stores offer) you indeed are on government aid.
Part of what the farmer and I love so much about farming is the ability to learn through other people. The local farming community is most generally very helpful, encouraging and willing to share their experiences with others in an effort to learn and grow. We in turn like to pass along what knowledge we gain to our customers when we feel that it is of value.
So how about this….
How many times have you ever asked someone, thought about, or heard someone else ask, “Why is your local meat, produce, etc, so expensive?” “I can go to the store and get the same thing way cheaper.”
Or how about this one, “Let’s just get rid of all government aid!”
Now we all have our own personal experiences, thoughts, ideas and beliefs in regards to government aid, the price of food and any other topic under the sun. But in regards to our food there are some realities that we just don’t often think about.
It cost to raise a pig, a cow, a chicken, a bushel of corn, a bag of wheat, a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, a head of lettuce or a bag of apples what it cost. If you are a small local farmer, you need to take your starting cost and add what ever feed, maintenance, manual labor, etc goes into it and base your price on that. Let me tell you…any local produce farmer or livestock farmer is doing it because they love it and they want to help their customers be healthy, not because they are getting rich. And if you get to know your local farmers you will see that this statement is true.
So why is it that Mighty Oaks Farm pork chops are for instance $6.50 per pound and you can get pork chops at the supermarket (last week) for $0.99 per pound? Mighty Oaks Farm ground beef would be $7.00 per pound, but you can get ground beef at the supermarket for $2.99 per pound? Mighty Oaks Farm bacon is $9.95 per pound and $1.99 at the supermarket?
We can ask the same questions, we just have to switch around our way of thinking to get the correct answer. The question really needs to be, “Why is the food at the grocery store so cheap?” Government Aid. Yes, it is the government subsidies that enable the big producers of food to keep the prices low. In fact, many large food producers are paid more for growing/raising less food. It’s a pretty messed up system. The government so heavily regulates what the large farms (corporations) do, that they essentially own them. Their buildings have to be a certain size, they have to produce so much (or not produce so much), they have to treat their produce or animals in heavily regulated ways and many of those ways, lead to disease, failed crops and yet, more government subsidies. It is a vicious circle.
So the long and the short, please know, that your local farmer, is not trying to rob you. They are not trying to price gouge, take advantage of you or make a killing. They are truly in fact, trying to live a more healthy lifestyle and offer you the same opportunity. It may not always look like that, but turn your way of thinking around and start asking questions from the other side. Don’t take our word for it. We encourage you to research, seek out your own information and make choices based on what you find to be true. We encouraged you to be the healthiest you possibly can and make wise choices concerning who you support. Healthier people, make healthier families, make healthier communities, make healthier states…Be the start to something good!
Be blessed and stay healthy – the Farmer and the Farmers Wife