Disclosure: I attended a sponsored farm to table tour. I was not compensated for my time in writing this post. All opinions are my own.
Helloooo November! The pumpkin spice craze has come and gone and holiday season is
almost in full swing. I’m finally settling into my position with a new company after literally hitting the ground running since August. I recently had a moment where my love of foodie field trips and passion for educating audiences on healthy eating completely collided.
During the annual October Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo that took place here in Nashville, I attended a Farm to Fork tour sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA). We visited the Hatcher Family Dairy farm located in College Grove, several miles south of Nashville. There we were treated to a full breakfast utilizing farm fresh and locally sourced ingredients, followed by a tour of the farm led by the Hatcher family themselves. In a recent educational session focused on shopping smart and buying locally sourced foods, I was able to share why it’s so important to choose local when the opportunity arises:
- Connect with the community: My favorite part of visiting the dairy farm was chatting with a few members of the Hatcher family and realizing the amount of work involved with sustaining a 200+ acre farm. I’ll gladly spend more money on a product to aid in further developing local economics. It also doesn’t hurt to know that their cows have names and are treated as family pets!
- Create a fun event for the entire family: Engaging the family to try new foods or healthy alternatives can be challenging. Visiting local farms or markets is a great way to involve younger family members in food selection and meal preparation. Learning the story behind the ingredient makes kitchen time much more exciting. Entertainment doesn’t always need to involve technology or screen time.
- Eat fresh: Knowing that I could purchase a gallon of milk that was quite possibly milked from the heifer, bottled and delivered to the grocery all in the same day is an exhilarating thought for me. I may be a nerd, but my milk will be fresh!
- Spark an interest: I will forever prefer a crash course in which I’m able to learn something new utilizing my 5 senses, and often times I’m left hungry for even more knowledge. In my field it’s important to keep abreast of trends in the food industry, and it benefits everyone to be informed on where and how their food is produced.
- Try something new: I’m not sure that I would have ever sought out local non-homogenized whole milk had I not learned about it during the Hatcher tour. The fat globules are not emulsified, so the cream rises to the top of the liquid. Stepping outside of your box is never a bad thing!
The next time you pass a farmer’s market, orchard, farm stand or local artisan shop-stop in, say hello and support the local community. You never know what sight, smell, taste, touch or scent is around the corner. Until the next Best Bite 🙂