Sunday, October 04, 2009

Another reason to listen to Dave Matthews

Guest post by Will Valverde.
At this morning's press event, Dave Matthews spoke about one of the greatest benefits of supporting local farmers and the good food movement: it's incredibly delicious. With sustainably raised food grown locally, "you can taste the quality. Family farming -- it's not just a romantic thing. It’s the real thing, it's what you're feeding your kids."

Dave also had a word of advice for everyone present: try the pork chops from Patchwork Family Farms. I have to say, that's some of the best -- and tastiest -- advice I've ever followed.

As you'd expect, the food here at Farm Aid is not your usual concert fare. Sure, there are corn dogs -- but they're organic and hand-dipped in front of your eyes. Organic food is the order of the day, and you can taste the difference in every bite.

Patchwork Farms is one of the most popular vendors at Farm Aid, serving up sausages, chicken, and those famous pork chops. Patchwork is a collection of family-owned farms from all over the state that began as an effort by the Missouri Rural Crisis Center to preserve the local tradition of small hog farms.

At a time when plummeting hog prices were putting many family farmers out of business, the Crisis Center helped a coalition of farmers take control of the process, from growing hogs without unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones to storing and transporting the meat to placing their products with local retailers.

The result (especially when combined with locally-produced Show Me BBQ sauce) is just about the best pork chop I've ever tasted. And in the meantime, family hog farmers in Missouri have the opportunity to thrive by raising good food for the fans at Farm Aid and stores around the state.

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