A recent article in the Washington Post highlighted the shocking statistic that 7% of Americans thought that chocolate milk came from brown cows. Unless you think this is a bunch of second graders responding to this question, the statistic comes from an online survey of adults conducted by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. However, the message that gets lost in this article is that we are now three generations of separation from an intimate and daily connection of the business of growing/raising/processing food.
Other studies done in the early ’90s showed that 20% of adults didn’t know that beef came from cattle. Another study showed that over 50% of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in an urban California school didn’t know that pickles were made from cucumbers.
The end result of this separation from food production and processing is a captive audience of consumers highly reliant on processed food that requires minimal preparation, which means very few vegetables are actually eaten. Studies show potatoes as the #1 vegetable eaten (even though it’s not really a vegetable), followed by tomatoes, onions, head lettuce, sweet corn (another non-vegetable), carrots, and leaf lettuce. Given that 80% of diseases are preventable by good diet, it is no wonder our health care system is overloaded with sick people.
So how do we create a health system rather than a health care system? By focusing on nutrient-dense food grown in healthy soil. Buying locally from farmers and ranchers you know and trust is the best way to ensure food quality. A recent article noted that 30% of consumers now are interested in local foods. With increased knowledge and awareness comes more power over one’s health and the health of generations to come. It may have taken three generations to forget where food came from and how to prepare it, but it only takes one generation to incorporate these critical skills again.
To learn more about how informed consumers can help address numerous environmental issues by supporting regenerative agriculture producers, visit our Regenerative Solution page. Only through producers and consumers working together and learning new skills will our society develop the necessary food and environmental literacy for a sustainable society.
To see if there is a holistic agricultural producer near you, visit our Community Map.
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Holistic Management International’s mission is to educate people in regenerative agriculture for healthy land and thriving communities.
We have helped farmers and ranchers in 130 countries learn and practice Holistic Management for the past 3 decades. You can read some of their Success Stories to learn how Holistic Management has changed their lives and impacted their land.
As a non-profit organization, HMI is always grateful for donations in support of our mission. You can help regenerate land for healthy food and healthy lives with many giving options including scholarships for farmer/rancher training. Learn more here.