Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Do You Care About The Milk, Eggs Or Meat You Eat?

More importantly, who took the time to produce it for you.

We've been raised and reared to shop in supermarkets and blindly reach for whatever we need whenever we want. The cunning supermarkets mostly have the same layout the world over. Bread and milk at the back and everything else in between.

Some of us have forgotten and some of us don't care where the produce comes from, as long as it's cheap and available.

Who produces our food? Yes, of course the cows, chickens and yet again cows but who actually takes to time to aggregate the production...yes, the farmer.

Farming is a worthy profession, a vital profession and sadly a dying profession. Farmers are a hardworking lot, working double the time as the rest of us. An animal doesn't stop needing food over a weekend or Christmas or a public holiday. The average European worker's 40 hour work week is just an utopian dream to a farmer. Never mind paid sick leave, paid leave or unemployment benefits...

If the world were fair, farmers would get a good price for their wares, but alas, it isn't so. Farmers get clobbered by the middle man...the supermarkets. By good price, I mean a price that covers more than their overheads and costs.

Reason would dictate that to get better prices they shouldn't settle for such a low price and sell elsewhere. But here lies the problem.

We are all so used to shopping at a supermarket that we either forget or are to lazy to shop at a farmer's market, farm shop or farm stall.

Often it's either a choice to sell to the middle man at low prices or don't sell at all. Obviously not every farmer but most are battling to make ends meet and whether you want to hear it or not...we are all guilty of helping it along with our shopping habits.

You are quite right in thinking that it is impossible to save the world, but we can all save the farmers near us.

Let's try and buy at least one item a week from a farm stall, farmer's market or if possible from the farmer himself.

Just to give you an example: A local farmer sells free range eggs ( the chickens are in a huge meadow with shady trees, plenty of food and space to be chickens ) for euro 2 per 10 eggs which is still lower than at the supermarkets. If he were to sell to a middle man, he would be lucky to get 2 cents per egg...

Why should we care...well, if farmers stop farming because they can't even cover their costs, then what on earth are we going to eat?