Farmers . . . the Next Food Stars!
|Posted by () on Mar 21 2011|
|Newsletter Articles Blog >> group one|
For decades now, small farmers have had to compete against industrial farms , the “agribusinesses” that donated 120 million to lobbyists just in 2010.
2011 could be the year luck begins to finally favor the small, local farmer. Two trends bode well for these folks.
First the rise in oil and gasoline prices translates right into prices of food coming from huge farm operations because so much of that food gets shipped from distant states. Fuel costs must be re-couped in the price of the food itself. The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reports that food prices increased 2.2% just in January of this year, after a non-stop increase lasting 18 months. Food prices are the highest they’ve even been since they began keeping records in 1990.
Local farmers, while still feeling the pinch at the pump like the rest of us, will still have lower fuel costs than the giant food conglomerates. Our neighborhood farmers depend on local markets, finally an advantage for them. With the prices of shipped in food climbing while prices of local produce, meat and fish remain steady, price differences narrow and consumers may finally be open to requesting more for the grocery dollars they spend.
That “more” consists of food that is: 1. picked closer to its natural ripeness resulting in more robust flavors, 2. grown without dangerous chemicals or genetic modifications, and 3. raised with the tender care of dedicated farmers rather than corporate officers and their minions.
Americans today are more aware of and concerned about their food sources than ever. Having direct access to the farmers growing their food both reassures us and helps us get involved in this most meaningful of activities: cooking and eating.
Celebrity Farmers? Believe it.
Move over celebrity chefs, farmers will become the new media darlings in the coming years. Not only will farmers begin to appear on HGTV and TLC programs, the names of their farms will pop up in the meal descriptions on menus from the finest restaurants.
In an annual survey of 1,527 chefs conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 86% agreed that the top culinary trend for 2011 will be the use of locally sourced meats and seafood and locally grown produce. The study, reported in National Restaurant News article, “Chefs predict the biggest trends for 2011,” also found sustainability, healthy children’s dishes and hyperlocal (restaurants using produce from their own gardens) taking the next three of 20 spots on the trend list.
In fact, with “farm and estate-branded ingredients” becoming fashionable, small farmers may not be small for very long. We at Brian’s Farmers Markets hope the dedicated farmers we know finally get the lucky breaks they deserve!
Last changed: Mar 22 2011 at 7:00 AMBack