So... I watched the SCARECROW ad that Chipotle recently released, and I'll be honest with you… at first, I just didn't get it. Were they for the farmer? Were they against the farmer? I truly wasn't sure. So, I took a poll. I asked some friends who had never seen the ad, to watch it and tell me what THEY thought it was about. And guess what?? Every person thought it was about something different. I decided that I needed to watch it again, and that is exactly what I did. And again, and again, and again. I admit it, I liked the music and the nostalgic feel of the animation, it did in fact, have a Frank Baum quality about it. But what I didn't like, was the general assumption that EVERY farmer behaves in that fashion. They pump their chickens full of hormones, they hide their cows and lock them in tiny boxes, and they JUST DON'T CARE about the consumer.
I have visited 4 farms now, and I can tell you, this is not a representation of the hardworking farmers I have had the pleasure of meeting. These farmers dedicate their lives to producing food for not only your family, but their own.They want to provide the safest, healthiest and most nutritious food possible. They change with the times, they have to, in order to compete in a current day market.
Wouldn't we ALL just love farming to be like it was back when the big red farmhouse, and the milking parlor were the center of every farm? It would, but let's be realistic, it simply can't happen. They have to use what they can to their advantage. Let me clarify, these farmers are not factory farmers, but they are modern day farmers. They use technology to get a higher yield, to use fertilizer only where it is needed, and they use GMO seed so they can STOP applying pesticides.
They aren't mad scientists, they aren't hiding ANYTHING. I can speak to that with certainty. We have become so detached from our plate and from what we put on it, that we tend to believe anything that is laid out before us. But as it has been said many times, don't believe the hype. Ask, listen, learn. There are plenty of farmers who will answer your questions, there are plenty of people who will talk to you about what they know, and this website is a GREAT place to start. But don't just do it because I told you to, do it because YOU WANT TO KNOW. Get acquainted with your plate and your food; take a journey from farm to table. Knowledge is power.
Katie is one of the Illinois Farm Families 2013 Field Moms. Throughout the year she visits several Illinois farms to learn more about where food comes from. Following each tour, the Field Moms share their thoughts by blogging about what they experience on these farms, including five things they found most interesting. Want to learn more? Read Our Story: Chicago moms meet farmers.