Those of us who grew up ranching and farming might find it shocking how many Americans don’t have the most basic understanding of where their food comes from. When you grow up in Agriculture you can find yourself assuming everyone understands how a vegetable is grown or that your hamburger comes from cattle.
We need to stop making assumptions and start educating. There are generations who are in the dark and need our help!
Part of helping educate is stop judging people for not knowing. I know next to nothing about computers even though I use them. It doesn’t make me less of a person for not knowing. I simply need to be educated.
The gap between what people perceive about their food and the truth is growing. A story done in the Washington post reported an online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of the U.S. Dairy was shocking.
A few examples:
- 16 million people think chocolate milk comes from brown cows
- 40% of California 4th-graders (5th and 6th graders, too) didn’t know that hamburger comes from cows
- Orange juice is the nation’s most popular “fruit”
- French fries and potato chips are the nation’s most popular “vegetables”
I don’t know about you but I find this shocking!
So how do we go about helping people make the connection between what they buy in the grocery store and where and how it came to be?
We share our stories. I know, I know it can be exhausting sharing what feels like the same information over and over again but it’s important as it takes people many times to see information before it clicks for them.
Then we need to be willing to answer questions. Honestly, thoughtfully and without sugar coating the truth. While keeping an open line of communication. If we automatically get defensive or condescending why would people come back to us for more education? They won’t! Let’s rise up above that and help people.
I’m going to be doing exactly that here on the blog in the upcoming weeks. My experience is in the beef cattle and sheep industry but I’ll be researching some other Ag industries to share with you as well. Then if you share that info with friends maybe we can help people connect the dots a bit again.
I’d love to know what questions you have about where your food comes from so I can help. Drop them in the comments and we’ll get started asap!