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Food Supply Accountability

Consumers have come to rely heavily on government regulation for a level of accountability inn the food supply system. We have become extremely removed from the source of food. I think that is part of the reason why farmers markets, local food CSAs, (such as the Creston Grain Community Supported Agriculture project that we are part of).

Washington Farm“Find the Farmer” Helps Consumer Connect Flour Back to Farms (food traceability find the farmer Stone-Buhr flour)

What if wheat—the building block of so many of the foods we eat—became tainted? It could sicken or kill millions of consumers. In an effort to prevent such a lapse in safety, Stone-Buhr flour has launched Find the Farmer, a website that allows consumers to (virtually) meet the farmer responsible for the bag of flour of a special “Washington White” product they’ve taken home, by logging onto findthefarmer.com and keying in the lot code printed on the bag.

Food security relies on an appropriate level of accountability, and while much of the food consumed comes from large multi-nationals, the accountability is almost entirely in the corporation’s hands, and their liability is protected by high paid lawyers. Knowing the people who grow and process your food is like knowing your hairdresser or your dentist – we inherintly trust these corporations without knowing anything about the people who are running them, or even the workers in far away places growing food on our behalf.

The challenge for this week is to find a local alternative to five foods you love to eat. So rather than shopping at Costco, you may need to find a smaller store, and who knows, you may build a relationship with that person too!

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.