Local, fresh, natural, sustainable, pesticide-free, organic, non-GMO- the words that are making headlines, turning heads, and creating a divide among consumers. Not only are these words trendy among the elite food bloggers, chic chefs, and millennials, they mean something and shouldn’t be just thrown around to gain attention or followers.
When selling New Red Pontiac Potatoes, we like to share that they can’t even be compared to the red potatoes at the grocery store. Our “new” potatoes are just that. They are new. They haven’t been stored for months, unlike potatoes available at the supermarket. The skins of our potatoes are thin and easily peel off which is evident that the potatoes are “new”. Potatoes that are available at the store are harvested and then stored for a few weeks to cure the potatoes and allow suberization to occur, a process where the potatoes heal their cuts and bruises from harvest, in turn thickening the skin. The potatoes are stored, transported and then sold to consumers, a whole process that can be months long.
Potatoes aren’t the only produce that is involved in a lengthy process to get from the ground to the consumer in a commercial setting. Tomatoes are harvested while they are still green, transported, and then ripened with ethylene gas. Tomatoes naturally release ethylene gas when they ripen on their own, so when they are gassed artificially with ethylene the unripe tomatoes turn red without actually being truly ripened, resulting in mediocre tomatoes available at the supermarket. Ours however? They ripen on the vine, are heirloom varieties and have no pesticides. They go from vine to you in days time.
The potatoes and tomatoes at the store are not fresh or local. They are older than you realize and you may not know where they were grown. Even if they are organic, that doesn’t mean they are pesticide free. Most, if not all, produce sold in a retail store is grown for appearance and transportability, not taste.
Disclaimer: We buy vegetables and fruit at the grocery store too. We still want strawberries with whipped cream in December and we still eat lettuce when it isn’t in season here. We are not sharing this information to scare you. We understand that you cannot simply rely on what is in season, but our goal is to educate and to illuminate the truth about the food industry and raise questions. At a farmers market ask where the produce come from? Did the farmers grow it or are they reselling someone else’s? How old is the produce? What did they spray on it? What is the story behind it?
Here at Circle S Farm, we like to tell the story. We think it is very important to know your farmer and your food.