Facts, Not Fears, Tour Provides Firsthand View of Farmers' Commitment to Produce Safety

9/5/2017 2:49 PM

Like many things, the best way to fully understand a farmer’s commitment to food safety is to see it firsthand.  This is why the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) hosted its first ever tour for bloggers and science writers.  By seeing the fields and facilities up close and meeting and talking with farmers, we hoped these writers could take their personal experiences and help communicate the care and commitment they saw to their readers.

Throughout the tour, the bloggers and writers observed the harvests of iceberg and romaine lettuce, artichokes, celery, broccoli and strawberries in the Salinas Valley of California.  The AFF also invited scientists along on the tour to answer any and all questions about pesticide regulations and use on organic and conventional crops, nutrition and food safety.  After the field tours the bloggers, writers and scientists sat down with farmers, produce shippers, buyers of produce and chefs for a robust roundtable discussion about food production challenges and concerns from farm to fork.  Interestingly, our tour guests said this three-hour roundtable was too short and they wanted more.

And, we learned a lot too.  As AFF Vice-Chair and Markon President, Tim York, said following the tour: “It was very helpful to learn more about what information the bloggers and writers want and need to help them communicate about how we grow and produce our food safely.”  Specifically, the AFF’s mandate to provide science-based, peer reviewed information can sometimes present communication challenges so the input we received was interesting and very helpful.

You can read the blogs that have already been posted from the AFF tour guests here and here

We wish we could replicate this experience for consumers everywhere but this is, of course, just not feasible.  But, we hope by conducting farm tours for bloggers and writers, they can help be the eyes and ears for their readers.

Our thanks to our tour partner Markon Cooperative for making this possible as well as the California Strawberry Commission and the Produce Marketing Association for their support. 

Read, learn, choose but eat more organic and conventional fruits and veggies every day for better health and a longer life.

 

 

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