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Does our #1 top customer question show how disconnected from food we’ve become?

October 14, 2022

I need to preface this by saying - we LOVE our customers. We love helping them, we love hearing their feedback, and we love answering their questions. 

We learn from every customer question. And, when the same question pops up again and again, we can draw some interesting conclusions and try to provide that information proactively. There is so much truth in the saying, “No question is a bad question.” So, please, keep the questions coming! 

OK, now that we’re clear that ALL questions are awesome, let’s move onward…

At Miller’s Bio Farm, there is a clear #1 most asked customer question - “How long does it last?” Or, another variation of this question is “Has it gone bad?”

It’s been this way for years. I mean, that’s why we made our amazing Shelf Life Guide for Farm Fresh Food and share it often. And, that’s why we choose to include “best by” or “sell by” dates on our perishable products.

Given that we receive soooo many questions along these lines, it really makes me think. Is the reason people are asking because, as a society, we’ve become disconnected from our food?

I mean, let’s say you were a homesteader and had your own cow. You’d learn pretty quickly how long the milk lasts and how to make it last longer. You’d learn how much milk your cow produces every day (FYI this varies, but it’s usually between 6-8 gallons per day). You wouldn’t want to waste a drop and would start making dairy products.

You’d learn how much milk it takes to make 1 pound of butter (FYI it’s 2.5 gallons). You’d learn how much milk it takes to make 1 quart of yogurt (FYI it’s 6 cups). You’d learn how much milk it takes to make 1 pound of cheese (FYI it’s 1.2 gallons). 

And, you’d learn the difference in smell of fresh milk, week-old milk, and soured or clabbered milk that you’d probably make into clabber cheese (here’s a short story about my clabber disaster from years ago).

In addition to your cow, you might produce meat, eggs, produce, and grain. You’d learn how to dry it, can it, ferment it, freeze it, and store it. 

After a while, you’d just know how long each food lasts and if it’s gone bad. And, if you raised your kids this way, it would be embedded in them. They’d know it in their gut. 

But, homesteading is not a common modern reality. A grand majority of Americans do NOT produce their own food.

Farmers and ranchers are less than 2% of the American population (compared to 90% at our nation’s founding) [1]. Only 25% of Americans have a garden that produces food [2]. 

And a surprising amount of Americans don’t know where their food comes from. 

One in five Americans don’t know that hamburgers are made from beef. Half of kids don’t know that pickles are cucumbers or that lettuce is a plant. Three in ten kids don’t know cheese is made from milk [3]. 54% of Americans have never experienced the joy of seeing a cow in real life [4]. 

You get the idea. Americans are becoming ignorant eaters.

If people in general don’t know where their food comes from, then how can they innately know how long something lasts or when it’s gone bad? And, even if you understand the process of how foods are made, how do you know exactly how that farm or business does it? 

I think this is a big reason why people are obsessed with food labels, expiration dates, trendy diets, certifications, and government regulations. It makes them feel safe in a constantly changing world. 

Miller’s Bio Farm is flipping the script by allowing you to buy directly from farms. It’s a food revolution. 

Leave the labels behind and choose transparency instead. Leave behind blind trust and get informed.

At Miller’s Bio Farm, we are proud to be in direct connection with the foods we sell. We’ve personally visited every farm and every processor behind our foods.

And, we do our best to relay that information to you on our website, in our emails, and on social media. And, of course, if you ever have a question, just ask! Remember, ALL questions are awesome, and we love answering them!

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below (no account required - start typing for the guest option to appear) or contact us.

Marie Reedell

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