here are countless reasons why buying local food is both rewarding and delicious,
including: enjoying the taste of fresh food, improved health and nutrition,
environmental stewardship, support for family farms and rural communities, and
ensuring animal welfare.
One of the biggest benefits to buying food locally is having someone to
answer questions about how it was grown and raised. Developing a relationship with local
farmers gives you an “in” with your local food system! At our farm, you can get answers
to questions like: What do your cows eat? Can we be certain that the beef lived a life
without suffering? What’s the best way to prepare a whole chicken? What are the
characteristics of a fresh egg? You are always welcome to tour our farm to see where
your food comes from; we are thrilled to share our knowledge and experience
with our customers!
A significant reason to buy local is to keep food miles to a minimum.
“Food miles” refers to the distance a food item travels from the farm to your home.
Most of today’s grocery store items that we eat travel an average of 1,500 miles
from the farm to our table. About 40% of our fruit is produced overseas. Broccoli,
despite being grown in the U.S., still travels an average of 1,800 miles to the
supermarket. Notably, 9% of our red meat comes from foreign countries, some
as far away as Australia and New Zealand. A tremendous amount of energy
including fossil fuels are burned to transport food such long distances. This
process releases carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and
other pollutants that likely contribute to global climate change, acid
rain, smog, and air and sea pollution. The refrigeration required to
keep our fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats from spoiling
during their long journeys burn up even more fossil fuel. In
contrast, your local and regional food systems produce
about 17 times less carbon dioxide.
How else will buying local benefit you versus buying all of your groceries at the supermarket? When you purchase locally grown products from Farm Sweet Farm LLC:
Eat Wild—the #1 site for grass-fed food and facts. Provides a direct link to local farms that sell all-natural, delicious, grass-fed products. Also lists comprehensive, accurate information about the benefits of raising animals on pasture. This is your source for safe, healthy, natural, and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy, and other wild edibles.
A Consumer's Guide to
University of Wisconsin Extension—March 2009
“Back-to-Basic Beef: ask not what there is to eat for dinner—but what your dinner ate for dinner.”
Daniel A. Marano, Psychology Today—Nov/Dec 2008: pgs 54-55
Eating processed meats, but not unprocessed red meats, may raise risk of heart disease and diabetes
(e)Science News.com—May 2010
“Go Power Shopping: up the health ante of your grocery cart with our good/better/best nutritional guide.”
Sally Kuzemchak, RD, Prevention—March 2009: pg 116
“Grass Is Greener: want steak without guilt? Go against the grain.”
Lindsay Moyer, Women’s Health—July/August 2008: pgs 86-93
“Greener Pastures: how
grass-fed beef and milk contribute
to healthy eating.”
Dr. Kate Clancy, Union of Concerned Scientists, UCSUSA.org—March 2006
Health Benefits of
How Cows (Grass-Fed Only)
Could Save the Planet
Lisa Abend, Time.com—January 2010
“How to buy the best beef.”
Aliza Green, CNN.com/Health—
New Studies Prove Organic and Grass-Fed Are Worth the Price
Dr. Mercola, Mercola.com—Feb. 2016
“Plumped Chickens Cost Consumers Billions Each Year.” Stockman Grass Farmer—July 2009: pg 9
“Research Supports Grass-fed
Beef Indeed Healthier.”
Jane Fyksen, Agri-View—August 9, 2007: Section B-3
Switching to Grass-Fed Beef
Tara Parker-Pope, NYTimes.com—March 2010
“Why Eat Grass-fed Beef?”
Country Living—March 2009: pg 73
Eat Well Guide—a free online directory for anyone in search of fresh, locally grown, and sustainably produced food in the United States and Canada.
Farm Fresh Atlas of Western Wisconsin—an atlas of local farmers, farmer's markets, food
co-ops, grocery stores, and restaurants that have pledged their commitment to help create a sustainable, locally grown food system that protects natural resources, minimizes use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and treats animals with care and respect.
GrassWorks—a Wisconsin statewide membership organization that provides leadership and support for grass-based farming.
Holistic Management International—a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the health of degraded private, public and communal grasslands worldwide. By managing land resources in partnership with nature, we can increase land productivity, optimize water resources, preserve food sources, create sustainable livelihoods, and remove Carbon Dioxide from our atmosphere.
Land Stewardship Project—a great Minnesota non-profit that features the Myth-Buster
series on sustainable agriculture. The mission of the Land Stewardship Project is to foster an
ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop
Local Harvest—the ultimate resource for finding local food! The best natural food is what's
grown closest to you. Use this website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources
of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and
many other goodies.
Slow Food USA—an idea, a way of living, and a way of eating. It is a global grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
Sustainable Table—helps you to serve up healthy food choices as it celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues, and works to build community through food.
The Weston A. Price Foundation—a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research, and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including: accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting, and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.
Wisconsin Farmer’s Union—a member-driven organization is committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities and all people through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors and civic engagement.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals—to better answer the question, “What should we have for dinner?,” author Michael Pollan follows each of the food chains
that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—
from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto—a book authored by Michael Pollan that shows us how, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, we can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that diet causes. We can relearn which foods are healthy, develop simple ways to moderate our appetites, and return eating to its proper context—out of the car and back to the table.
Food, Inc—You'll never look at dinner the same way again. This film lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.
The High Cost of Low Price—a feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant's assault on families and American values. It's an emotional journey that may challenge the way you think, feel... and shop.
The Meatrix—a series of award-winning flash animation movies that expose the harsh realities of factory farming and the meat you eat. Viewed by more than 15 million people.
The True Cost of Food—a 15-minute educational and entertaining flash animation short film about sustainable food presented by the Sierra Club Sustainable Consumption Committee.
The Grassfed Gourmet by Shannon Hayes
The Farmer and the Grill by Shannon Hayes
Wholesome Home Cooking by Katie L. Stoltzfus
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon