As the food movement grows, one thing becomes more apparent, shopping local and supporting local are here to stay and rightly so! They have huge economic impact on our local communities. Being at the start of the food chain as a farmer, one thing has become clear, until we figure out that sourcing our ingredients locally is the only way to have the kind of impact we all desire for supporting our local communities.
#FoodStartsHere in Chatham
The reason #foodstartshere is so critical to CK Table and we hope to the consumer is because
1. All food starts on the farm.
When a consumer travels to a restaurant or a grocery store and sees terms like “fresh from the farm”, or “farm to table”, unless that claim can be authenticated and consumers can understand how it went through the value chain to end up on their plates, it is just an empty claim. It makes people feel good and that they are being responsible in their food choices (which are both great!), yet the realities of the food system need to be much more transparent and at the end of the day, if the farmer is not given a fair price for his or her labour, our food is not sustainable.
2. Chatham Kent is one of the most productive farming regions in Ontario and Canada.
Chatham-Kent is a region right smack in the middle of London and Windsor Ontario; we are a rural community that has farming and agriculture as its main industry. We are the #1 producer of tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and pumpkins in Canada and the #1 producer of green peas and quail in Ontario. We also have the #1 fresh water fishing port in the world! We are the #2 producer of asparagus, field peppers and brussel sprouts in Ontario. Not bad for a region you may not even have heard of before reading this post. We produce a lot of food but with a strategic plan we could produce an abundant amount of food for the city of Toronto and help make it more food secure with production happening just hours away.
3. My mentality towards food production as a farmer.
Lastly, #foodstartshere is a claim to our family farm. We as farmers have forgotten what food is. No disrespect to the different kinds of farmers but corn, soybeans and wheat are produced in huge volumes in Ontario and on most farms these days. The sad reality is that is not used for food (well the food we are encouraged and know we should eat!) These commodities are used in things like processed foods, packaged foods, fast food, manufacturing and even gasoline. Lots of these are great industries for our economy but not so good for our health and some of them are not even edible.
The reason for #foodstartshere is to redefine how consumers and primary producers see the value chain, connecting the two and the need to build food security into our economy. The primary goal of past US president Thomas Jefferson was to make sure his country could feed itself, a goal we at CK Table hope that Canada will focus on before a hard lesson is learned.
We hope you will join us and engage in the conversation by using the hashtag #FoodStartsHere while engaging with us on our social media channels.