Food 3.0

Food 3.0

We need to get back to the basics of food. That is what Food 3.0 is all about. We need to get back to knowing where our food comes from and who grew it. We need to be good stewards about how we manage our food and grow it sustainably. Our food system right now needs a massive over haul from the growers to you the end users and consumers. It's time to take a stand against the GMO/herbicide/pesticide food conglomerates. It's not enough to pay twice the price for the "organic" label. Do you know if they are truly operating in a organic way or is this just a marketing ploy from a big city marketing firm?

Something to think about: How many people do you know with food allergies? What about the number of people who have cancer, had cancer or passed from cancer? Now ask your grandparents or anyone over the age of 70 the same questions from when they were your age. Odds are the numbers will be drastically different between you and them.

Why is this? I think it's due to chemical intervention in the food system. I think all the GMO's herbicides and pesticides used in AG have created this monster. On average food travels over 400 miles from where it was grown before it hits your dinner plate. Back 50 or even 100 years ago that number was under 10 miles. People knew where their food came from and who grew it. Some may say city's have gotten bigger, less farmland.

While yes this is all true there are ways to sustainably farm. It's about working smarter not harder. Doing more with less is possible. Growing with hydroponics and aquaponics is possible. That's what we do here at Oxbow Farm and we love it. We love getting out and meeting our clients at markets and doing deliveries each week. I enjoy talking to local chefs and see the new and inventive ways they are using our locally grown products.

Our aquaponic model allows is to grow more with a smaller foot print than most in ground farms. Am I saying in ground farms are dead? Absolutely not.! I think both have a place, both have their individual strengths and weaknesses. For instance one crop segment that does not do well in aquaponics are root veggies. Things like potatoes, garlic, carrot, radishes etc. Things that do well in hydroponic/aquaponic settings are plants that fruit above the soil line. Things like herbs, greens, peppers etc.

When I am traveling one thing I don't see that I feel is important is community gardens. Why don't neighborhoods or communities have therm anymore? It doesn't have to be aquaculture as a matter of fact I don't think I have ever heard of a community garden that was a aquaculture garden. Most are in ground gardens. Get communities involved and get kids involved! In large cities you see land that was once developed that now sits over run with weeds. Why not turn these spaces into above ground community gardens?

I hear complaints all the time about school lunch program. I would love to see schools get involved and do farm programs. Mix it up with traditional growing practices and aquaculture. Food grown with these programs can help feel the student body. Excess can be sold at school markets to the parents and local community which then generates funds for PTA and other school programs. Think about the educational value. Kids learn about plant life, biology, cell biology, the nitrogen cycle and so much more. Work with local businesses to help fund these types of programs from a product stand point if not from a monetary standpoint. These types of programs could do amazing things for middle and high school students. These are the types of things Food 3.0 needs to work on.

In this day and age we should not have "food deserts" We shouldn't have areas that have no access to fresh food. Kids should know what a tomato flower looks like. They should know where eggs and meat comes from and that they don't get "made" at the grocery store or corner market. The current food system has to change and change for the better. We need to go back to a time where people went to local farmers markets and went to your local farms. It's about building those relationships.