It’s easy to forget that food doesn’t just magically appear on grocery store shelves. That’s why it’s important to have resources like Find the Farmer to remind us that real people grow the stuff in our pantries. FindtheFarmer.com, launched yesterday, lets you trace back any Stone-Buhr bag of flour to the farm where the wheat was grown and harvested.
Traces are performed using a bag’s lot code, printed at the top of the packaging as the “Best Before” date. In addition to providing information about individual farms, Find the Farmer also provides a page with biographies of the farmers involved in production as well as an Ask the Farmer forum featuring questions like, “When do you plant your wheat and what types of wheat do you grow?”.
Find the Farmer is certainly a promotion for Stone-Buhr, but it’s also an important step in allowing us to feel connected to our food. Other companies have picked up on this growing need, including FarmsReach, a start-up that launched at this month’s Green:Net conference.
FarmsReach works by allowing farmers to create a virtual stall to sell produce directly to buyers. The website works out which producers have certain foods on any given day and relays the information to participating restaurants, grocery stores, and individuals. It’s clearly a popular idea–the start-up won the people’s choice award at Green:Net’s LaunchPad, and a number of attendees told me afterwards that the idea of reaching out directly to farmers was much more interesting to them than the many carbon calculators presented at LaunchPad.
Here’s hoping Find a Farmer and FarmsReach are just the beginning of a trend in companies helping consumers get cozy with the origins of their food.
[Via Find the Farmer]