We are what we eat part 3

How could something as seemingly insignificant as buying food have such a huge impact on our every day lives? It couldn't right? How is it possible that spending money on one piece of meat and not another influences the way farmers take care of animals? Do my decisions as a consumer actually impact what happens at far away farms? The answer is yes, yes they do. Food choices matter.

Big corporations that buy meat from farmers want to pinch pennies wherever they can. If they can cut costs by serving consumers low-quality, low-cost meat and charge a premium for it, that's what they are going to do. Why? because consumers are willing to pay for the low cost meat (even if it has adverse health effects). Some people blame the higher cost of sustainable and organically raised meats for why most consumers can't get access to them, which is a valid point. If we as a nation, however, collectively demand organic grass-based meat so much so that that method becomes ubiquitous in all of farming, farmers and big corporations will spend money to lower the cost of organic farming. The companies that don't spend money to lower the costs of organic farming methods won't survive. 

If given the opportunity, many conventional farmers would make the switch over to more sustainable farming methods. Farmers are pragmatic and their jobs don't leave much room for error. If you approached a farmer with a farming method that could potentially increase the profits from raising animals and do it in a way that's good for the environment, most would jump at the opportunity. That's where we as consumers come into play. If the farmers are going to take the risk of switching over from industrial methods to organic farming operations, we need to make sure we are meeting their supply with a high demand. This gives the consumer immense power; the power to ultimately influence the way in which food is put on our plates. Our food choices matter and we have the power to make sure our voices are heard.

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