Thursday, April 25, 2013
Consumers are in charge of their food system
From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes: A gorgeous day today! I started it outside, when Jerry, still recuperating from heart surgery, came to trim the horses’ feet. Barb’s little white pony could hardly get out of the barn, but he trimmed her and said she’ll probably be fine. It’s really hard with an equine that’s foundered. When spring comes and the fescue gets green, they just overeat and whatever healing they did gets undone. We have several horses and ponies to go, but she was the most urgent case and Jerry left after trimming her and my big old fellow, Rocky. We made appointments for Tuesday and Thursday next week. Coming back inside, a phone call from a news reporter about my grain project, connecting consumers with local grain. Uprise Bakery, mid-Missouri’s finest, has started using local wheat for one of his bread recipes. What did I think of that? I think it’s fabulous. The reporter was very patient, trying to absorb all the details. It’s hard, when all your breads have come wrapped in plastic from who knows where, to understand how it all begins. Wheat. Farmers. Flour. Millers. Yeast. Bakers. Who knew? The main thing, as I told her, is the consumer. If consumers demand a certain kind of product, the stores will get it for them. Consumers are driving the system, but they hardly ever know it.