Trust the Source:
Know the real stories behind the food you buy
I'd like to highlight the importance of "trusting the source" when selecting the food that you buy. With so many producers, suppliers, and retailers honing in on buzzwords and jumping through whatever loopholes are required to be on trend, it's up to the consumers to understand the entire picture and decipher the whole truth about what any food truly is, along with its impact on our buying mindset.
Product labels on food in the grocery store often don’t tell anywhere near the whole story about what is involved in producing it. There are many large gray areas which big producers can mold and abuse in order to circumvent government labeling standards, as far as what they are required to tell you about what is in their food. These convoluted labels may leave the average shopper asking questions:
- Was this fish farmed or wild caught?
- Was this fish previously frozen? Can I refreeze it?
- Was this Atlantic salmon farmed on the Pacific ocean, how? why?
- What does grass-fed beef actually mean?
Reading the small print has never been my forte, but has become increasingly more important when approaching food labeling. However, with twins under 1yrs old, I don’t have the time nor patience to. I would rather spend my dollars and time somewhere, I feel comfortable and confident the homework has been properly done for me.
This idea is consistent throughout our mission at Chef’s Vault. All of our food has a simple and obvious backstory that you can trust. We feature our supplier’s stories and make it possible for you to dive into the details during a special evening with guests and speak about where the food came from, who grew it, and what it ate.
When it comes to grass-fed beef, the details matter. We need to know if this product is grass-fed and finished 100% of the time, or if it was like every other cattle on earth, grass-fed for the first 6 months of its life and then reduced to a confined feedlot for the next miserable 18 months. This is the dark reality of all commodity cattle, unfortunately.
The details matter on grass-fed and finished beef, and many processors are greenwashing their product labels to boost their image and social responsibility. The bastardization of the word grass-fed is eroding its meaning, and taking away from the importance of the regenerative aspect of grass-finished beef. Grass-finished and regenerative beef is a crucial step to reclaiming the story of meat production which has a net positive impact on C02 emissions and carbon sequestration. The benefit to the environment and land is significant, and as the word regenerative implies, the soil health is building and rejuvenating. When done right, the cattle actually play a crucial role in creating healthy soil that benefits the entire ecosystem in the surrounding area. 8 Acres has the data, some of their fields sequester over 20 tons of carbon an acre per year!
Another prominent example of trusting the source is that 87 per cent of Canadians are concerned about mislabeled seafood because a study came out saying that 47% of all seafood tested at Canadian retailers are mislabelled. Trusting the source is about knowing as much as possible about the fish you're eating, and understanding that labels like MSC and Ocean Wise hold tremendous importance. A third party audit ensures things are done properly and sustainably, and that the food you're feeding your family is the food it says it is.
I understand that the tide of inflation is rising and the cost of food is hitting all of our wallets. Going for sustainable or regenerative items isn’t the cheapest route today, but you can trust the source and understand the positive impacts on the environment and society. Eat better, but eat less; quality over quantity can lead to a massive shift in how we view food. Cozy up to the idea of splitting a 10oz ribeye with someone. Try creating a meal while only eating a 4-5oz of sustainable fish serving per person (try new species of fish!). This concept is a tangible way that can have a huge impact on your health, along with the health of the planet we co-exist on.
When you can trust the source, you can trust that the products are produced by smaller farmers and fishermen, and people who care about sustainability and regenerative farming. Knowing where your food comes from matters. Know the source of your food. Trust the source and understand what fuels you.