Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms is a full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. His family farm services more than 5,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products using relationship marketing.
Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide to Farm Friendly Food is written by an honest-to-goodness-dirt-under-the-fingernails, optimistic clean good farmer. His goal is to: Empower food buyers to pursue positive alternatives to the industrialized food system, bring clean food farmers and their patrons into a teamwork relationship, marry the best of western technology with the soul of eastern ethics, and educate food buyers about productions.
In this podcast you will hear Joel’s top tip for buying local, and learn that true local integrity farms love to have you visit. You’ll hear why it’s so good to buy local, and what to look for when you visit a farm whether it is an animal farm or only plants. He advocates a shorter chain of custody between the field and the fork plus a more transparent system; even if we can’t eat everything local we should put a high priority on eating local.
There are two main points that I want to emphasize from this interview. First, know that finding a good local farmer is going to take some time but it is an investment in your and your family’s health for generations to come. Second, Don’t be snooty about the way your produce looks. A worm or bug in your local produce is a good sign that chemical sprays were not used on the plants.
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