Meet the farmers behind your food
Research and Innovations Felix Schellenberg and Chad Goertzen provide insight on farming and the local food movement.
Mediaplanet: What are the individual health benefits of consuming locally raised meats?
Felix Schellenberg: Knowing that you can visit a ranch in your own province, that you are welcome to experience how the livestock is raised and fattened on grass, harvested and processed all in the same area. As well as being able to buy that delicious product right in your neighbourhood, it gives you a deep assurance that this meat is good for you.
Chad Goertzen: In B.C. farming practises are highly regulated to meet Canadian Quality Assurance standards. Other countries have approved feed additives, where as here they’re not allowed. People should know that meat produced in this province meets a high standard of health and safety. I know I am in control of raising a healthy product by using quality ingredients and safe and up-to-date farming practises.
MP: How can we get more attention on the local food movement?
FS: By educating the shopper through media, and children through teachers, to be critical, demanding, knowledgeable, and not settling for second best. By demanding from the consumer to make a statement when buying food. The dollar bill is also a ballot: by buying local, you vote for local!
Mega farming and food transport leaves a massive carbon foot print on our environment. As well, meat travelling long distances has to be packaged in more papers and plastic, causing excess waste.
MP: How can something as simple as buying local contribute to sustainability?
FS: Slashing transportation dollars to the absolute necessary, it leaves fossil fuels to be used where really needed and thus will make the planet’s reserves last for a very long time.
CG: It is important to be able to drive down the road and see the fields and farms where their food is produced. Globalization of food is definitely growing and becoming an issue that affects smaller community farms. Buying local ensures that farmers receive a larger portion of revenue which they in turn reinvest in the community. Thus there is a continuing cycle of reciprocity; the community works to sustain itself.