If you’re like most Americans, you’ve spent a lot of time of late in a grocery store putting together your Thanksgiving meal. Many think that’s where their food comes from — neatly packed and ready to be cooked.
A family from western North Carolina has set out across the country to reconnect Americans with where and how their food is grown and raised. Justin and Rebekah Rhodes, along with their four young children, have embarked on “The Great American Food Tour,” and you can follow along on YouTube.
The Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll found that close to half of those surveyed rarely seek information about how their food is grown or produced.
When confronted with where food comes from, some end up being scarred by it. Like the people at Facebook, who labeled a video in which CRTV host Phil Robertson prepared a duck for gumbo as containing “graphic violence.” When people think the preparation of food is violence, and not necessary to sustain life, we have a serious problem. That’s where the Rhodes family comes in.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms declined in the country by close to 120,000 from 2008 to 2015. The fewer farms there are, the less chance the average American gets to see one or knows someone who runs one.
In February 2017, the Rhodes family set out to visit farms all across the country, from small backyard farms to sprawling ranches. For much of the year, I’ve sat transfixed, watching their daily 15-minute vlogs of their travels.
Here’s a short clip of what the series is like:
Before setting out on the trip, the Rhodes family had been daily vlogging from their Henderson County, N.C., farm about their adventures in “homesteading.” While traveling the country, the family also runs Abundant Permaculture, a website dedicated to teaching others how to grow their own food and get closer to their food sources.
In a blog post, the father, Justin, shared a quote from his mentor, “Every day something dies so that you can live.” That’s a fact that too many people don’t realize.
As you prepare to gather around the table this Thanksgiving to give thanks and share a great meal, instead of turning on the football game after, why not fire up YouTube and take a look at where all that food came from? There are not a lot of family-friendly entertainment options these days. “The Great American Farm Tour” is one you may have missed.
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.