Farm Focus: Partnership For A Healthier America

Farmer Al recently made a whirlwind trip to Washington DC to attend a conference hosted by Partnership for a Healthier America. This organization brings together "public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity". They work with the "big guys" like fast food companies and politicians to get major systemic changes around the food industry and the policies governing it. 

So, how does Frog Hollow Farm fit in? Farmer Al was part of a panel where he shared his perspective as a farmer who believes that growing quality food is about taste and nutrition. We do everything in our power to help our trees grow delicious fruit, but not just for taste's sake. The complex flavors you find when biting into one of our tree-ripened peaches are partially a result of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies happen to need to function. Research has shown that foods that are grown in soil that is microbially active and "healthy" contain higher amounts of nutrients.  Human taste buds have taught our brains to enjoy these flavors, not just for enjoyment, but for survival.

These instincts were especially important when humans spent most of their time hunting and gathering, burning up tons of calories daily in search of food. Certain nutrients contained within foods, that were high in fats and unprocessed sugars were few and far between. In times past foods that were dense sugars and fats were scarce and eating copious amounts of them when they were available provided the body nourishment it needed. Now that most of us expend much less energy on a daily basis we don't need them as much or as often and we certainly don't need them processed and packaged into something that is a simulacrum of real whole foods.  Biochemical pathways that lead to and manage cravings for fats, sugars, and salts are complex. Our body still responds to these flavors as if our lives depended on it. We still are programmed to crave fat, sugar, and salt as if we were all walking 10 miles a day as our ancestors once did! 

The processed food industry has been more than willing to satiate these cravings with highly processed salty and sweet foods that are loaded with low-quality fat. These cheap, calorically dense and nutritionally empty foods have resulted in innumerable health problems for adults and children alike. Luckily, organizations like Partnership for a Healthier America recognize this problem and are working to help make it so that everybody has access to real food that is both healthy and delicious. We are happy to do our part and applaud you for choosing to include seasonal organic fruits as part of your diet.