Foodforthought magazine

Finding ways to get closer to food

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Before the Civil War, people either grew their own food or knew the farmer who grew it for them. Now the source of our daily meals is such a mystery children are often clueless about how their dinner came to be. Unfortunately, adults are just as unaware as where our groceries come from. According to Sue Osgood, editor of Foodforthought magazine, consumers are finding ways to get back to natural foods. Osgood was the speaker at the Thursday, April 2 meeting of the Rockford Area Historical Society, another great speaker for the club. She said her magazine has been featuring ways consumers are using to get back to natural foods, grown close by. After the Civil War, people flocked to cities to live, and sanitation and food safety regulations were in their infancy. Michigan, in 1948, was the first state to mandate that milk be pasteurized before sale. “Now food is highly industrialized,” Osgood said. With costs of food skyrocketing and incidents of food-born illness in the news constantly, consumers are ready to get closer to their edibles. One example Osgood described is a concept begun in the 1960s. Smaller farmers, who often have a hard time competing against large producers, allow consumers to purchase stock in the farm. For a price up front, fresh, in-season produce is available. “This helps the small farmer because he has the money up front when he needs it for planting,” Osgood said. This is good for farmers and consumers and “puts a face” on your food. Another example is a way around milk pasteurization laws. Those who own cows can do what they want, as long as they don’t sell it. As in the farm example, consumers can make arrangements to buy a share of a cow. As owners, they can legally drink the milk without pasteurization. “A lot of people believe in unpasteurized milk,” Osgood said. She said before the industrial revolution, it was what people drank. Some believe pasteurization kills healthful enzymes and makes the milk less nutritious. An increase in organic foods is also part of the same picture. Many people believe organic food exposes consumers to less pesticides and other toxins, is more nutritious, protects you from genetically modified food, is […]