Several years ago, I attended an investors meeting for the Natural Products Industry. The presenters gave a really interesting overview of the market research regarding who exactly was behind the explosion in the organic retail trend. Much to everyones surprise, especially Wall Street, the people behind the movement were middle aged, highly educated upper middle class mothers. At that time, in the mid 1990's the increase in the natural and organic market sector was 20 - 50% annually for the preceding 10 years. This was no ponzi scheme, and at that time, no other market had ever had that kind of expansion, not even tech or petroleum. I have always carried with me what I learned at that meeting, and see how these educated moms have completely changed the grocery shopping experience in the USA
Fast forward to now, where current market research states that 90 % of Americans want to eat healthy but are very confused as to how to do this, prompting the research authors to state " there is a great opportunity to educate the public on how to navigate the natural products industry."
A quick trip to any grocery store will give you a myriad of opportunities to be confused. When I was living in Redlands, I got my eggs from a local CSA (I miss those eggs with the thick shells and orange yolks, let me tell you.) Now I join my fellow citizens in trying to decipher what the heck the labels mean.
I settled on Organic and hope to start purchasing from a neighbor here in Napa next week.
Until then, here is a list from the Humane Society, which by the way is a great resource for all things sustainable when it comes to farm animals :
There is an organization that is trying to remedy this confusion as well as transform our farming here in the US on many fronts, consumer education, industry consulting and legislative advocacy.
I found a wonderful promotion for an App from Farm Forward that can help us all figure out what exactly to buy at the market when we want to make our hard earned dollars count for our health, animal welfare and the health of the planet. http://buyingpoultry.com/ The App is a project of Farm Forward that has been working with various farms, related business interests and the public to educate on the dangers of industrial farming.
Thursday July 11th, the interview was with Andrew Decoriolis, Director of Strategic Programs and Engagement of Farm Forward. Farm Forward is an organization that strives to create innovate strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farm animals suffering and advance sustainable agriculture. http://www.farmforward.com/
I so enjoyed meeting Andrew and hearing about all things sustainable when it comes to livestock farming! You can listen to the interview here:
When it will be launched some time next Summer, Buying Poultry App will help consumers with a click of a smart phone or tablet to be able to see exactly what it is they are buying when it comes to chicken, turkey and eggs. It seems simple, but with this App and the efforts of Farm Forward, the transformation of our food system we so "hunger" for can become a reality. I have always been told, follow the money. Well, if we as consumers are able to put our money literally where our mouth is with simple tools like Buying Poultry, we can transform the way food is grown and produced in our nation. We, after all, give them our money, we actually are the biggest lobby and money interest in the nation at 360 million and counting as citizens of our great United States. We certainly can not depend on our Government to protect us from big corporate interests, but you know what? We buy the stuff and if we create a market demand, the magic of conscious capitalism can take shape.
I tell you, the more I network within the Food Movement, the more excited I get that we as a species are really going to be OK. With the people in charge of safeguarding our food and land, such as Farm Forward and Buying Poultry, there is much to be hopeful about. In spite of great obstacles and attempts of very slick businesses that try to lie and silence us into buying toxic garbage, we are really really going to have a bright and delicious future ahead, and so will the generations to come. Please support Farm Forward, follow Buying Poultry and certainly, if you eat poultry and eggs, get the App when it is ready. Until then, local, local, local and know your farmer. And thank you educated middle class moms, this is really all your doing!