“We’re only truly secure when we can look out our kitchen window and see our food growing and our friends working nearby.” ― Bill Mollison
Strawberry Jam is one of the first things I preserve each year.. and all the men in my home are so happy when I do! I am making this first small batch using store bought strawberries so I can get the recipe out before the Michigan strawberry season starts for all of you.
Fresh strawberry jam is by far superior to canned, in my opinion and my boys lol! Check out my YouTube video for a step by step tutorial and then read on below for the complete list of ingredients & directions. Enjoy friends!
Do you know the difference between jam or preserves, jelly, & marmalade? Well friends, there is a difference. In the coming weeks & throughout the summer and fall, I’ll be showing you how-to make all of the above, but here is a quick differentiation~ Jam or preserves generally have chunks or bits of fruit in it, jelly is made just from the juice, marmalade generally made with citrus using the whole fruit with or without some of the rind in it.
“The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes, and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby ― how could anything so beautiful be mine. And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.” ― Alice B. Toklas
As we see an uptick in farmers market attendance and folks growing their own food, there seems to be a bit of hope. If you are like me, someone who both grows some of my own food, and shops at local markets, then you understand the gratification that comes with it. You know you are supporting local growers and family owned farms, on top of the incredible satisfactions of going out to your garden and picking a fresh tomato or cucumber.
I really became aware of the food anonymity as a market vendor. So often people would come and have no idea that potatoes grew in the ground, or peas developed in a shell. It can actually be a bit disturbing. I made it my mission to not only sell food back when I had my farm, I was committed to educating people on where their food was coming from as well.
Food is an essential part of our daily lives. It fuels our bodies, satisfies our taste buds, and brings us together in shared experiences. But how often do we consider where our food comes from, who produced it, and under what conditions it was grown or raised? Unfortunately, the answer for many of us is rarely, if ever. The food industry is one of the least transparent industries in the world, with little to no regulation or oversight in many areas. This lack of transparency has significant implications for consumers, from health concerns to ethical and environmental issues. In today’s blog, I want to explore the impact of food anonymity on consumers, that means US, & the ways in which we can break free from the chains of ignorance and demand change.
First, What is food anonymity?
Food anonymity is the term used to describe the lack of transparency in the food industry. It refers to the fact that we, the consumers, often have no idea where our food comes from, who produced it, or under what conditions it was grown or raised. The supply chain for food is long and complex, with many different players involved, from farmers and producers to distributors and retailers. This complexity makes it difficult for consumers to trace the origins of their food and to hold companies accountable for their actions.
The issue of food anonymity is compounded by the fact that many companies engage in unethical and unsustainable practices in order to cut costs and increase profits. For example, some companies use harmful pesticides and other chemicals in their farming practices, which can have negative impacts on both human health and the environment. Others engage in animal cruelty, such as keeping animals in cramped and unsanitary conditions or using inhumane slaughtering methods. These are what generally are referred to as CAFO’s or Confined Animal Feedlot Operations.
Friends, I’ve stood in some of these and believe me when I say, you would not be able to eat the meat you purchase in the grocery stores if you did. That is why I have always been so adamant about knowing your farmer & producer! These practices are often hidden from consumers, who have no way of knowing what they are supporting when they buy certain products.
The impact of food anonymity on consumers
The impact of food anonymity on consumers is significant. When we don’t know where our food comes from or how it was produced, we are at risk for a number of health concerns. For example, many companies use additives and preservatives in their products, which can be harmful to our bodies over time. Additionally, the use of pesticides and other chemicals in farming can lead to contamination of our food, putting us at risk for illness and disease.
But the impact of food anonymity goes beyond just health concerns. It also has ethical and environmental implications. When companies engage in unethical practices, such as animal cruelty or unsustainable farming practices, they are contributing to a system that is harmful to both animals and the environment. By supporting these companies, consumers are indirectly contributing to these issues as well. Furthermore, the lack of transparency in the industry means that consumers have no way of knowing whether the food they are buying was produced in an ethical and sustainable way.
The dangers of food anonymity
The dangers of food anonymity are many. As mentioned, the lack of transparency in the industry can lead to health concerns, ethical issues, and environmental problems. But there are also economic implications as well. When companies engage in unethical practices in order to cut costs and increase profits, they are often doing so at the expense of their workers, who may be underpaid or subjected to unsafe working conditions.
Additionally, the lack of transparency in the industry means that small-scale farmers and producers may be at a disadvantage, as they are unable to compete with larger companies who can produce food more cheaply and with less regard for ethical and sustainable practices.
How food labeling can help
One way to combat food anonymity is through better labeling practices. By requiring companies to provide more information about their products, consumers can make more informed choices about what they buy and eat. For example, labels can indicate whether a product was produced using organic or sustainable farming practices, or whether it contains any additives or preservatives. Labels can also provide information about the origin of the food, allowing consumers to make choices that support local farmers and producers.
While some companies may resist these labeling requirements, consumers have the power to demand change. By supporting companies that are transparent about their practices and advocating for better labeling practices, we can send a message to the food industry that we care about where our food comes from and how it was produced.
The power of consumer demand
Ultimately, the power to effect change in the food industry lies with consumers. By demanding more transparency and ethical practices from companies, we can create a more sustainable and just food system. This can take many forms, from supporting local farmers and producers to advocating for better labeling practices and more regulation in the industry.
One way to exercise our power as consumers is by choosing to buy products that align with our values. For example, we can choose to buy products that are produced using sustainable and ethical practices, or that support local farmers and producers. We can also support companies that are transparent about their practices and are committed to making positive changes in the industry.
How to empower yourself as a consumer
Empowering yourself as a consumer begins with education. By learning more about where your food comes from and how it was produced, you can make more informed choices about what you eat and buy. This can involve doing research on companies and products, reading labels, and educating yourself on ethical and sustainable farming practices.
Another way to empower yourself as a consumer is by supporting advocacy groups that are working to create positive change in the food industry. These groups can provide resources and information on issues related to food transparency and sustainability, and can help you connect with others who share your values and concerns.
Advocacy groups play an important role in the fight for food transparency and sustainability. These groups work to raise awareness about issues in the industry, advocate for better regulation and labeling practices, and support small-scale farmers and producers. By supporting these groups, consumers can help amplify their voices and make a difference in the industry.
The importance of transparency in the food industry
Transparency is key to creating a more ethical and sustainable food system. When companies are transparent about their practices and products, consumers can make more informed choices about what they buy and eat. Additionally, transparency can help to hold companies accountable for their actions and create a more level playing field for small-scale farmers and producers.
Breaking the chains of food anonymity requires action from all of us. By educating ourselves, supporting advocacy groups, and demanding change from companies and regulators, we can create a more transparent and ethical food system. This can involve making conscious choices about what we buy and eat, advocating for better labeling practices and regulation, and supporting small-scale farmers and producers. Together, we have the power to create a better future for ourselves, our communities, and our planet.
“Farmers markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage and have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm fresh produce, enabling farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers, and cultivate consumer loyalty with the farmers who grow the produce.”
I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day, Jean
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The container gardener is limited only by your imagination! Whether you have a large garden, raised beds, or the smallest patio or balcony, Jean will show you how you can reap a crop of herbs. It’s all in the harvesting friends!
In todays class held at The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market, Jean Roman will showcase how you can create thriving herb containers you’ll be able to bring in during the winter as well, if you choose! Whether you are an experienced or novice gardener, this class will be loads of fun with tons of great information!
Lifestyle expert Jean Roman shares gardening and cooking tips
The Market is excited to welcome Jean Roman with her gardening and cooking tips to our 2023 lineup.
Jean is a mother of six, published author, podcaster, YouTuber, organic gardener, organizational guru and influencer who lives in Waterford. A cookbook author and self-professed master gardener with more than 20 years of experience, Jean loves to share her passion for and knowledge of organic gardening, the local food movement and food preparation and preservation.
On her weekly podcast, “For Dragonflies and Me,” Jean gives gardening, cooking and organizational tips and tricks; discusses healthy lifestyles, and welcomes a wide variety of entrepreneurs.
Jean will make six presentations at the Market throughout the season. Please join her as she discusses and demonstrates:
Container Gardening with Herbs: Learn how-to make & grow an herb garden planter!
The container gardener is limited only by your imagination! Whether you have a large garden, raised beds, or the smallest patio or balcony, Jean will show you how you can reap a crop of herbs. It’s all in the harvesting friends! Today Jean Roman will showcase how you can create thriving herb containers you’ll be able to bring in during the winter as well, if you choose! Whether you are an experienced or novice gardener, this class will be loads of fun with tons of great information!
It’s strawberry season in Michigan friends! Join Jean Roman as she teaches you how easy it is to make homemade freezer strawberry jam! Recipe will be included. Roman will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Easy & Delicious Pesto Sauce- How to make & preserve it! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will teach you how to make her delicious & incredibly easy Pesto recipe, and how to preserve it so you can have it all winter long. She will share tips on how to grow & stimulate continued growth of your plants. Roman will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Plan your fall garden now! Lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, & more!
August 5th, 2023
Did you know you can continue growing delicious, fresh veggies late into the fall? Well, you can even here in Michigan. All you need to know is the right crops to plant, and how to care for them. Join Jean Roman as she guides you through the steps of preparing for a bountiful fall garden.
Homemade Marinara Sauce- How to make & preserve summer’s bounty! Jean Roman, Author, Podcaster, & Self-professed Master Gardener will teach you how to make her delicious & incredibly easy Marinara sauce recipe from your homegrown tomatoes. Don’t grow your own? That’s ok, Jean will share how you can purchase large quantities at your local farmers market. She will have her popular cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats available at a discounted price for attendees today. Samples will be provided.
Fall Garden Clean Up: 10 Step How-to Fall Vegetable Garden Clean Up
Cleaning up your fall vegetable garden is an important step in preparing for next year’s crop. By removing dead or diseased plants, clearing debris, and adding compost and organic matter to the soil, you can improve the health of your soil and reduce the risk of pests and diseases for years to come. Jean Roman will go over her easy 10 Step How-to Fall Vegetable Garden Clean Up.