In the past, the Pettit Pastures blog has mostly been an update about what has been happening on the farm. Starting with this post, we have decided to change the format a bit. We will still give an abbreviated farm update, but in addition, we will be adding information relevant to the way we farm, the healthy food we produce, and other current news related to the industry.
Amazon Purchasing Whole Foods?!
The big news in food sales is that Amazon is now positioned to buy Whole Foods for almost $14 billion. Whole Foods has been a pioneer in bringing greater public awareness to more naturally raised foods. Still, like Amazon, Whole Foods is loved by some and loathed by others.
Whole Foods has unquestionably sourced more of its food from local producers than any other large supermarket chain. That has afforded select regional farmers access to thousands of new customers, while giving shoppers exposure to choices that didn’t readily exist earlier.
At the same time, Whole Foods has taken customers from small health food stores, causing many to close. Beyond that, much of what Whole Foods sells is arguably unhealthy. For one thing, many of their product contain GMO’s. (In fact, they joined with Monsanto and others in successfully preventing the clear labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients.) Plus, only a modest portion of their products are local and verifiable. Their inventory contains many organic foods from countries like China and Turkey, where certification has proven to be unreliable.
Did you know that close to 75% of all the Grass fed Beef sold in the United States is imported from foreign countries? Since the Country of Origin Labeling rules were repealed by Congress in 2015, it has become extremely difficult for consumers to know where the beef (even the Grass fed beef) they buy was raised.
Amazon’s success has been driven by automation, price, convenience, speed, and delivery. When a food system becomes highly automated, a decline in quality is soon to follow, as has already happened with conventionality raised commodity foods.
However the Amazon/Whole Foods venture plays out, regional farms like Pettit Pastures still exist, but we need consumer support. We don’t have brick and mortar retail outlets in your neighborhood, but we are accommodating and verifiable. Most importantly, WE EAT THE FOODS WE PRODUCE AND SELL. That’s a certification you can count on when seeking healthy food for your family.
This year was an incredible spring for grass growth. The cows couldn’t keep up with all the grass. We had to put hay up on an extra pasture just to keep the grass from over maturing. But as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. By the beginning of July, the farm was getting very dry. Because of our rotational grazing and soil health practices, we still had plenty of long, green grass pastures in front of our cows. However, we saw several neighbors’ pastures dry up causing them to feed hay or pull the cows off pasture completely.
Beef sales have been going well this year and we are settling into a rhythm supplying beef to The Main Street Farmer Eatery. Pork sampler Packs are in stock now. We added an extra batch of Berkshire hogs this year, so we do still have half and whole hogs available for this fall.
I hope you have a happy and healthy summer!