The USDA program, “Know your farmer, know your food,” sounds great, but it requires a certain level of trust of the farmer when you are not buying it directly from the farmer on the farm. Even when you are “looking the farmer in the eye,” he or she might well be crossing the fingers of one hand behind their back, while taking your cash with the other.
L.A. NBC reporters Joel Grover and Matt Goldberg did a stunning piece – “False Claims, Lies Caught on Tape at Farmers Markets” – where they uncovered the scam of some farmers claiming to grow the crops they were selling at “local” Farmer’s Markets, when in fact they were buying the products from wholesalers. The video is disturbing and really brings into question the claims of the “local food movement,” and the belief that “looking my farmer in the eye,” tells you anything about the food’s quality or safety.
I think this one comment to the story really summed it up – “This really sucks. I love farmers markets.”
It makes me think about that market down the street from my new office – “The Pike’s Place Market.”