Every minute of every part of the day we are awake we have choices to be made and most of us do not recognize them, want to recognize them or when we do recognize them even consider doing anything about them.
Life is hard enough with taking the time to consider everything I often tell myself. Incomes are down, expenses are up and there really does not seem to be much relief in sight.
It is hard to take control of one’s life let along one’s destiny. I remember many years ago when our family owned 5 dairy farms in New York and how over the years it all changed because the boys did not want to be farmers or some of them died young or milking practices changed so drastically that it did not pay after awhile to stay in the dairy business in the largest dairy county in New York for my family by the end of the mid 60’s.
Today there seems that not a lot has changed for today’s 2 million farmers when 4 meat packers slaughter 85% of this nation’s beef supply and 1 dairy company processes 40% of this nation’s milk supply. The fact that five major food chains account for 50% of all the food consumed by the 310 million eaters in this nation boggles my mind.
With fewer processors and retailers bidding for our farmer’s products farmers are struggling to get a fair price for what they have to offer and their share of consumer food spending has plummeted. In 1995 the farmers share of each consumers dollar spent for beef was 59 cents and in 2005 it was 42 cents, in 1995 the farmers share of each consumers dollar spent for pork was 45 cents and in 2005 it was 25 cents, in 1995 the farmers share of each consumers dollar spent for milk was 44 cents and in 2005 it was 36 cents and in 1995 the farmers share of each consumers dollar spent for apples was 29 cents and in 2005 it was 19 cents. Today it is much lower than that, yet since then we, the consumer, have paid 51% more for milk, 42% more for apples, 64% more for beef and 33% more for pork.
Farmers and consumers all stand to lose unless we start making better choices in our meal planning, grocery shopping, food buying and food preparation. This year make your local Farmers Market part of these choices. Local, seasonal food will become available on April 1st and many members have eggs, poultry, beef, pork, lamb and more right now and you can easily contact them to get these items. It may take a little more effort on the consumer’s part, but again those are choices that can easily be made.
Making a personal choice to buy locally and to support your local farmers market will help to keep their small industry growing in your county.
Our deal of the week is
At Home Farm Herbery we only plant Heirloom Organic seeds and we save these seeds each year. Often we have some extra and when that happens we are pleased to offer them to other health conscious gardeners and we only have 3 pkgs of Amaranth Herb Seeds available so buy now. Here is the link to buy yours and get free shipping today.