Haystack Farm

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Food Security

The news is a swirl of alarms about the safety of beef products from the XL Foods plant here in Alberta. This is the perfect time to think about what you are supporting when you buy your meat directly from a local farm. Not only are you supporting that farmer but also all the smaller independent industries associated with their production. Most smaller farmers have their meat processed at small processing facilities/butchers. By buying meat from smaller producers close to where you live you are also supporting the presence of small meat processors.  When outbreaks of things like e-coli happen in these big plants it makes it even more difficult in many ways for small processors to exist as the common reaction seems to be to clamp down with  tougher regulations on all processing facilities. Outbreaks like this current one highlight just how important it is to have diversity in every step of the agrifood system, not only for farmers but also for consumers.  Is it really a good idea for 1/3 of the beef processed in Canada, according to the news reporters, processed in one facility?  The best way to promote this much needed diversity is to make choices for local food and services. The prices may not beat Walmart but the benefits to your community are immense.

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