Eating is one way of experiencing things first-hand, giving people a personal introduction to local foods. Another great way to make this connection for people is to let them actually use their hands and get a feel for what small-scale farming is all about. Many people are interested to know how their food is grown, and are eager to get out to the farm to check it out. Once there, they can see plants growing from seed in a greenhouse, watch farmers transplant these into the fields, and witness the crops being harvested. Some farms work with volunteers as well, giving people the opportunity to help grow their own food. Working on a farm is extremely hard work, but it is also extremely rewarding and lots of fun--when is playing in the dirt not fun?!
Once people realize the difference between fresh and local, and industrial and global, they will wonder why we let ourselves eat such poor specimens of produce and meat for so long! They will know what industrial agriculture is missing, because they will have experienced it first-hand. Local growers of fruits, vegetables, and meats are increasingly gaining visibility in the market. Once people get a taste for their superb products, they will soon be joining the mounting demand for real, good food. And that is my favorite strategy for transforming our food system into something better. Try it out!