The Farm Fresh Option
Everyone recognizes the value, both economically and nutritionally, of buying farm fresh products from American family farms.
Over the years these farms have come to be recognized as only producing vegetables and some fruits, but they are capable and willing to produce far more: milk, yogurt, cream and butter, not to mention kefir, Ice-cream and fresh pressed apple cider to name a few. These value-added products not only increase farmstead revenue, but also fortify heritage and local traditions and provide an important choice for consumers.
The choice for consumers to purchase farm fresh products directly from the farm is a choice that encompasses quality, freshness, and a depth of wholesomeness unrivaled by any mass-produced product. This choice is becoming harder and harder to make, not because the mass-produced products have sound nutrition and increased quality, but because our rights to legally purchase farm fresh products are being taken away year after year.
“The taking away of these rights not only causes suffering for the families directly involved, but also the surrounding community.”
The taking away of these rights not only causes suffering for the families directly involved, but also the surrounding community. A study by the Weston A. Price Foundation
estimates that for every dollar earned by a family farm, an influx of five to seven dollars can be felt in the surrounding community. It is a win, win situation for all parties involved.
In some circles there are concerns about the safety of farm fresh products and these concerns impede our right to purchase them. The possibility of the existence of e-coli as can be found in ground beef is cited, as is the possibility of contamination by salmonella as found in and on eggs, poultry, and fresh vegetables. They cite the possibility of the contamination by listeria which is sometimes found in deli meats. All of these listed products plus fish, oysters clams and even water are potentially hazardous or even deadly, yet these are not the products we are impeded from buying.
“There are dangers all around us and what we need to look at is not only the risks, but also the intrinsic value of our choices.”
These products are readily available to any consumer that chooses to purchase them at the supermarket. But for the American that chooses to support his or her local family farm and local community by buying a product backed by integrity, value and pride, one could become a criminal in some states.
There are dangers all around us and what we need to look at is not only the risks, but also the intrinsic value of our choices. We need to look at the benefits to us and to our families both of the nutritional superiority
of farm fresh products, as well as the socioeconomic impact of our freedom to choose. These two benefits alone outweigh the possible risks associated with the products.
Thankfully, purchasing these products is not a crime in all states.
There are states which are protecting their citizens' rights to choose; states like Connecticut and Arizona to name just two. There, legislators are fighting for the freedom of choice, recognizing the benefits not only to the consumer and the farmer, but also the community at large. We hope that this fight carries over to our state and national legislators; so that they may protect all Americans' rights to be able to purchase unadulterated farm fresh products just as we may purchase the store bought items listed above.