This time it’s the pitchfork!
For National Nutrition Month®, I’m talking about how to put our best forks forward. We’ve covered the eating fork and how to make healthy taste delicious with the cooking fork. Today, I’ll share thoughts about putting our best pitchfork forward because learning about how food goes from farm to table is just glorious.
I’ve been fortunate to meet some farmers and visit a few farms in the last several years. A lot of this was sponsored travel, by the way. And wow, have these guys and gals earned my respect! Fortunately, I was invited to participate because, prior to my trips, I had very little idea of what it took to get my safe and delicious food from farm to table. I’ve seen machines shake the living daylights out of walnut trees to release the nuts I love to eat in my morning muesli and feature in this delicious sweet potato recipe. Gotta love walnuts for their nutritious deliciousness!
I’ve learned that pig farmers work with swine nutritionists to feed their pigs 10 different and precise diets over 22 weeks. On a partially sponsored trip, I met Pig Farmer of Year Brad Greenway, who shared how farmers care for their animals and work to prevent disease and discomfort. And I’ve learned that canola growers use GPS to be certain that each inch of land receives exactly the amount of fertilizer necessary and not a drop more or less. I loved my trip to Saskatoon for Canola Camp.
On a Uncle Ben’s Rice is Nice Tour (and isn’t rice so nice?), I learned that farmers use a sustainable process called alternate wetting and drying to flood their fields. Each person involved plays an important role in getting food from farm to table.
So much science, technology, respect for the earth and hard work goes into bringing us safe and delicious food!
Take any opportunity you can to visit a farm and talk to a farmer. And use your own pitchfork to grow tomatoes, herbs, blueberries, anything you love and appreciate. By the way, I have a young fig tree in my yard and nurture it and love it. I can’t wait to grill some figs with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar!
What are you growing?
If you’d like to read or hear more about nutrition and agriculture, check out what some of my colleagues have to say.
Melissa Dobbins, the Guilt-Free RD®: The Surprising Truth about Sustainable Agriculture
Jen Haugen: Boosting the Agriculture Experience
Denise at Vine Ripe Nutrition: 3 Seasonal Fruit and Kale Recipes
Cara Harbstreet: Talking Biotech