Sunday, February 19, 2012

Food by Committee: Prepackaged Beef Stew

A group of great minds at Tyson declared that there would be enough people that did not own a knife and cutting board to support this really crazy idea.  A task force was created and during a breakout session, the ideation team interfaced with stakeholders to achieve consensus to determine the market viability of said deliverables.

"They may have a knife, but they don't have the skills to sharpen it and they're afraid to use it," stated task force member #11. "They are afraid of getting cut and they don't have time in their schedules for an emergency room visit," interjected an ideation team member.

A stakeholder added, "They'll be afraid of bacterial contamination on their cutting board! Perfect!"

The Suit at the head of the table said to his administrative assistant, "Contact the antibacterial cleanser division and have them saturate the target market for 6 weeks before this one launches! This could be BIG!"

A marketing department committee was formed and they sat at a long boardroom table and ran some numbers back and forth; someone made notes and a barrage of emails got cc'd, forwarded and replied to, tallied and analyzed. After passing it through Legal, by the end of the week, a new marketing concept was launched. I wonder how sales are going.

For 11 bucks, you can open a couple of bags of raw ingredients and drop them into a slow cooker in the morning on your way out the door, then return after work to a nice meal. Look, you don't even have to go to any other aisles in the store. We gotcha onion, ya potatoes, ya carrots and ya meat right here at the end cap. We even enclosed a seasonings bag of pre-measured salt, pepper, guar gum, etc in the package.

Don't get me wrong, I love a slow cooker and I love beef stew. What bothers me about this is the fact that with each passing day, someone falls victim to this corporate marketing ploy and is further disconnecting themselves from their food.

We need to get back in touch with one of the most important elements in our lives. If you found this blog, you understand. Try helping someone start a garden this year. Anything will do; a tomato plant, a window box with spinach planted in it, a container garden or a little raised bed.

Please help to get the word out: We don't want to eat what they are feeding us.

Remind folks that food does not come from the grocery store. Learn how to sharpen your knives and don't fall for the marketing tricks the Corporations throw at you. You found this blog and I trust you to promote healthy and real food choices. Be a good example for those that need one. Some people don't know that there is another way to think about what they eat.

We just relocated our little business to the Piedmont of North Carolina, in Chatham County, just west of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, an area which is known as the Research Triangle. This area was chosen by us for many good reasons.

Yesterday, we went to our first big farmer's market and came home with a bag of wonderful local fare including some local pecans, which I was surprised to find here.

It's warm enough here in the winter to grow things and that's a big attraction. The fact that so many people are doing it here is really important as well. We like living around those kinds of folks and we wanted to situate our business in an area that was loaded with people like us. We'll start growing again this year after a year away from gardening due to the move. It's OK; we're still eating from our garden of 2010 and honestly, a little is left from '09.

We are at the edge of the small scale agricultural revolution. Young farmers are everywhere now, despite the news lately that farming jobs are in a severe decline. You and I are among the uncountable individuals that are taking matters into our own hands and feeding ourselves from our own yards.

This is nothing new; as a society, we just quit doing it for long enough to get out of the habit of providing some of our most basic needs for ourselves. We got lured into having someone else to take care of the most important things. It doesn't have to be that way.

Get busy and arm yourself with the tools and the skills you need to get some food production happening in your yard, or get with some friends and put together a community garden. Make it fun.

It's getting into our busy season in the broadfork business. I'd like to thank all of you who have bought broadforks from us. I never thought it would be this big; before long, Gulland Broadfork #700 will go out the door and find it's way to someone's garden patch.

We are grateful.

Good soil to you,


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