Whether we face the fact or not, integrity food sourced from local farms—that care about more than the almighty dollar at the end of the production stream—is not the convenient or cheap option out there. I’m sure most of you can attest that it takes extra commitment—not to mention time and money—to dedicate to integrity food. Is it worth the extra hassle and cost to commit to it? Obviously, many folks don’t think so, or the relatively few-and-far-between direct-to-consumer farms would be grossly overwhelmed with product demand.
I can call to mind a lengthy list of factors that play a role in the future of the food arena, many of which are cause for concern and will continue to worsen if the American consumer does not intervene and take an avid interest in his food and where it comes from. That said, I admit that I have come to realize that integrity food is not for everyone. Perhaps it could be compared it to the practice of moral integrity in other areas of our lives. As much as I wish it were otherwise, the fact remains that many businesses and individuals do not practice honesty and integrity in their interactions with others. Greed, self-interest, manipulation of others, and the love of honor and money control of the majority of relationships and transactions, both on a business and individual level, far more than fairness and true concern for the well-being or satisfaction of others, or recognition of long-term consequences distrust and discord brings.
Obviously, honesty and integrity is not the path of least resistance, otherwise more folks would live by it. Anyone who lives and practices moral integrity knows and recognizes that it’s rarely the easiest route to take, nor is it the most natural human response in most circumstances. By the same token, integrity food is not the easiest meal, and usually requires extra discernment to find a trustworthy (and local) source, more effort to obtain as well as additional preparation in the kitchen. However, I submit that the rewards for choosing integrity food mirror those found in practicing moral integrity in our actions. Such as the absence of the guilt factor, the knowledge that we’re supporting what’s best for everyone involved, and the satisfaction from knowing that we’re making real-world contributions to positive societal/environmental /physical improvement, one bite at a time.
Actions of integrity may not be the most advantageous in the short term, but from my experience, it’s well worth the effort on the long run. Integrity food is no different, having the ability to build long-term health in ourselves and our children that become immeasurable. Fight the good fight, battle the odds, and savor the benefits. And that’s the View from the Country.
The Definition – Integrity, [in·teg·ri·ty]
- Possession of firm principles… the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards
- Completeness…the state of being complete or undivided
- Wholeness…the state of being sound or undamaged