Posts tagged farming
hot wax and pesticides

The other day I went for a routine eyebrow wax. If you’re a dark-haired girl, you get that finding someone to trust with your eyebrows is just as important as finding a doctor, a gym and a grocery store in your new city.

So while my esthetician, who I’ve come to adore in the past few months, strategically poured hot wax on my brows, I tried to make small talk. Because nothing says small talk like hot wax only an inch from your eyeballs.

I don’t find much surprising these days. I have, you see, been urban for six years. Between the mix of a random calf on the front porch during calving season and walking down Bourbon Street during the day - and night - I’ve seen and heard my fair share of random.

Following up on our last awkward small talk conversation, I asked about her juice cleanse. Juice for 21 days? I’m curious. Do you wear one of those helmets with straws like the crazy dudes in football commercials? Are you hungry? Does wine count? It’s sort of a juice.

She said, and I paraphrase, that she feels better than she has in her entire life. That her body is functioning stupendously without pesticides or growth hormones lining her intestines. Her hair is fuller, her nails are longer and her stress is basically non-existent.

I’m reasonable to a fault. My counselor says he’s impressed with how I try to see a situation from every possible angle before responding, but sometimes I should just react before thinking too much.

Remember, folks. Hot wax. A quick reaction wasn’t really in the cards.

So I kept quiet and said, “good for you!” sans sarcasm. To be fair, my eyebrows have been looking really good lately and I don’t want to be on market again for another esthetician, and maybe I can introduce her to a farmer.

Then it hit me. Someone told her pesticides line her intestines. That’s her truth.

Colon cancer took my dad when he was only 25, so I’m well versed in intestinal health and ohmygosh she thinks farmers are killing us.

So, clearly, I googled. I wanted to know what she sees. I wanted to know why she thinks modern agriculture is bad for her. I needed to know why she thinks an organic apple has more nutritional value than a regular apple.

I get it, though. I do. In the middle of a big city, whether it’s Charlotte, Austin or Nashville, grocery marketing is our first, sometimes only, connection with agriculture.

Pesticides

Our address now (east side, strong side) is very much in a food desert. Every Sunday (sometimes weekdays, too) I drive nine miles north to the “good Kroger.” This Kroger does a great job of showing pictures of farmers and locations (very much Whole Foods-eque) of their farms. I’ve noticed, however, this is primarily found on the organic foods. So, if organic foods showcase their farmers the regular foods must have been made in a factory or used chemicals to make the product so affordable, right? Right?

This is why I want to connect farmers with consumers. Because, unfortunately, not everything we read on the internet is truthful.

I spend more time in the kitchen now than ever. I’m strategic in my purchasing decisions and select produce and meat products that not only fit within our budget, but also appeal to our waistlines. I, too, want to make good choices. I, too, reach out to farmers to make sure I’m a well-informed consumer.

This is why I agvocate.

What's it like being rural gone urban?

Recently I was asked about the most difficult aspect of my rural gone urban life. Difficult? I get street tacos every day! Every. Day. 

To be honest, though, some days your heart is full of guilt. Panging, real, raw guilt. 

Typically, it's the days you're wearing a light jacket to work while your friends and family are mucking though the mud, snow and ice.

They're pulling calves and breaking ice while you're devouring a few episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians. They're leaving the house after dinner to ensure "everyone's good" while you decide if you should open a bottle of Oregon Pinot. They're facing cold and exhaustion while checking on just one more pasture and you're minding your time by debating between sweat pants or yoga pants.

The guilt comes as you call your dad and he's talking to you about your seemingly non-important urban errands as he drives a sprayer. He always listens like it's the most important thing in the world, but it doesn't make your guilt feel any less significant. 

During undergrad, I scribed my first article on agritourism. It was then I was first exposed to the terrifying truth that the average family is four to five generations removed from the farm. 

When you choose an urban life, you're flirting with that statistic. 

My urban life affords the opportunity to have a direct connection to consumers. I mean, I am a consumer. This intel, if you will, helps aid clients with strategic social and digital plans so they can better tell their story and unveil a new layer of transparency. 

Credit:  Tori Anna Clay

Although I'm not physically on the farm I find new ways every day to connect with not only home, but with farmers across the country. I work harder to tell the story because I know how much agriculture effects not only our lives but the foundation of America. 

My passion for an industry impacting the world is not lost by the attributions of my address.

I am not defined by my ability to choose between five grocery stores in a three-mile radius just as my rural friends are not defined by their indifference of living within the city limits of an urban jungle.