A question I was asked yesterday driving home from the farmer’s market: What do you think are the best ways to educate and encourage and change people’s minds about their food choices? A tough question to answer, but one I think about all the time.
There are a few factors to consider here. One, I think that there are a couple generations that have lost the ability to cook from scratch. Two, this inability to cook leads to buying processed foods in the grocery store. Three, food has lost value in people’s minds (how often do you hear people complaining about the cost of food?). Four, farms are a mystery-adults and children don’t know where their food comes from.
So for me the answer is to teach people how to cook and grow food. Start young. Connection with food will be stronger if you start at a young age. I have vivid memories of raising our own chickens as a child. I got to watch ‘Dan the Chicken Man’ slaughter our chickens. Last week when I helped slaughter some chickens in the backyard of a friend that was the first thing that came to mind. I also remember how those chickens tasted when I was young. Very different than those from the grocery store.
There has to be some sort of shift in thinking within someone for this change happen. Often people that come and buy beef from us will have a story about cancer, heart disease, liver enzyme imbalances, the list goes on. It’s unfortunate that something drastic has to happen for people to make that change. For me, eating farm food makes me feel more alive and healthy without having been sick to begin with.
I know I haven’t even come close to answering this question, but I think there are so many answers it’s impossible to. Everyone will have their own way of affecting change and hopefully when one person changes their mind they might convince someone else to change. What would you do to change someone’s mind about food?