Growing up I have been lucky enough to see life through the eyes of a farmer and learn from those experiences. As a little girl, I would ask my dad what he was doing in the combine or the planter and every time his answer would be the same, “helping to feed the world”. This has been a statement that has stuck with me and helped me to realize that farmers work hard to provide the world with safe and affordable food.

In the United States, we sometimes take for granted the food that we eat every day. We have never had to wonder if our food will be contaminated or unhealthy, and we know that we can always get a cart full of groceries for a good price. Have we ever stopped to wonder how our food is safe and affordable?

Many regulations and stipulations are in place so that our food is safe for us to consume. Take beef, for instance, the USDA has many regulations in place so that the meat you buy in the grocery store is safe. Whether the farm is certified to be “natural”, hormone free raised livestock, or grain fed, farmers have to go through USDA checks and regulations approvals that may take years to be able to sell the meat at the market.  Fruits and vegetables must follow the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 that ensures mandatory, science-based, minimum standards will be followed for the safe growing, harvesting, sorting, packing, and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables. All farmers growing produce must follow these steps so that the nation will have healthy food options.  Why would a farmer go through all of those regulations just to be able to sell their product? To help feed the world.

Affordability is a huge issue in today’s world. Even with a struggling economy, food in the United States is still the most affordable in the world. Only about 9% of disposable income is spent on food in America, this is amazing compared to the 11 to 15 percent spent by other countries such as Germany and Spain.

This cycle of farmers providing safe and affordable food for the nation comes full circle. By providing safe and affordable food for the United States, they are providing the same standard for the food they eat. Farmers, just like my dad, grow the same food that they eat every day.

I am grateful for the food that is grown in this country and the comfort of knowing that it will be safe and affordable. Farmer’s work hard every day to fulfill regulations, go through tests, and following growing standards. My dad had a great outlook on what his job as a farmer truly meant to the nation and the world. He is working every day to feed the world, and whether it be a small or large farm everyone can help contribute.

Cara Workman
Illinois State University student

Leave a Reply