The Secret To Stability Is Simpler Than You Think
We live in a world experiencing crisis after crisis. It’s always in the back of our minds. We never know what is going to come next.
New pandemic wave?
Russia/Ukraine War Spilling Out?
China going crazy?
Who the flip knows?
Some Christians they feel like we are experiencing the first of the birth pains like in Matthew 24: 6-8.
Now, I’m not about to get into an argument about the end of days, not the point of this blog, but it can sure feel that way sometimes!
It is hard to argue against the notion that our world has gone crazy. We can't seem to predict the next catastrophe.
Now, I’m still a pretty young guy (35 if you’re wondering), and I was curious if I was just too young to remember similar events to this. Relying on history and the knowledge of our forefathers has been a huge many times over.
To my dismay, my grandparents and others in their age group couldn’t remember times like we are facing these days.
History and past human knowledge didn’t let me down either.
I realized they didn’t deal with the problems we have today because their world was much less globalized. Buying local wasn’t some hip fad, it was the way most people lived.
Somewhere along the way we messed it up, and it caused the huge problems we face today. I go into more in this article, but for now, let's keep cruising.
We have just now crossed the 100 year mark when the United States moved to a majority of the population living in cities.
Our population was 51% Urban in 1920.
Back then, everyone had a farmer in their social circle. You usually knew who grew your tomatoes, or who raised your beef. Local honey didn’t have a special spot in the grocery store. You just went and talked to Todd.
Today, we can get everything we ever dreamed of at Wal Mart or H-E-B. One would almost think you don’t need local peer to peer groceries anymore.
Boy, these times are showing the weakness of that mentality.
As promised, here are 5 reasons why buying local not only gets you better products, but keeps you safer!
1.) Globalization Fragility:
We have all heard the narrative of supply chain issues plaguing the market. At times, each of us have seen our fair share of empty grocery store shelves. When the heck did you see that before 2019?
Don't get me wrong, globalization is great in some senses. I’m super excited my air fryer from Amazon can get here in 2 days, and $30.00 cheaper than it would have been if Amazon couldn’t afford to lose money on another sale.
But globalization has a dark side too. Throw a single rock in any part of this system and it all falls apart. It a beautiful, but fragile beast.
During the pandemic and the meat crisis, all you have to do is talk to farmers and ranchers. Covid wasn’t destroying fields.
My supply chain was fine. It consists of me, my truck, and a butcher with a date. That’s it! We aren’t the only ones either. Many farmers I have met said the same thing about their vegetables.
The more you can find locally, often, the more stable it will be. You can call an actual person and get a real explanation. Local supply chains are just much less influenced by outside macro forces.
2.) Quality is Clear:
Whether you go organic or not. Grass fed or grain fed. You know exactly what you are getting. Local producers are proud of what they sell. It’s simple and direct. Unlike what you find at the grocery store.
Did you know your average pound of ground beef can come from up to 400 cows? Yea, they aren't exactly up front with that fact, among many others!
When you take a peek into the commercial beef market you see thehuge fight over all these “country of origin” labels. That’s not because domestic beef is being outcompeted. It’s because the beef is different due to genetics, practices, and the journey the cow had to go through to make it to processing.
Local producers will be able to answer questions about their products and give you clear answers. You often get foods that are not messed with in some weird way because local producers either don’t want to go through the fuss or the expense.
For instance, there isn’t red food coloring in the beef. We aren’t about to add preservatives like you find in canned vegetables. They will even be able to tell how, why, where, and when they used pesticides.
You just have a much better idea of what you are getting.
3.) Relationships Are Key:
During Snowvid of 2021, when we all about froze to death, our house was running off of our propane tank and a generator for a full week. I was getting nervous since we had a 1 month old inside and we were dipping down below 25% on the propane gauge.
The same guy who serviced my grandparents at the ranch for many years saved the day! When he got there he specifically mentioned us because my grandparents had been long time customers. It pays to have a relationship with your local businesses.
Any of us will go much further for a friend than we will for a random person. Walmart doesn’t care about you! When they are out, they’re out! So is the farmer, but they will usually work out deals and make sure they can take care of you to the best of their ability.
For instance, we don’t do custom boxes, but we have had some people with special requests or needs, and we accommodate them. No, we don’t have to, but we want to. I care about the people we serve. Again, we are far and away not the only one!
All of us here are much closer to being peers and neighbors then some executive running a multi billion dollar business!
4.) National Security:
Maybe you didn’t keep up with this during Covid, but China was actin’ a fool!
Many European countries were complaining about mask prices, so China just refused to sell to them for a few weeks. Once they apologized, in a manner of speaking, China started selling to them…at triple the price!
I’m not against out sourcing. Heck, we outsource some of our shipping to a 3rd party because they are specialists. There are just some things you DON’T outsource.
Many of us were frustrated when we found out China made most of our pharmaceutical equipment. We still can’t get cars because Tiwain makes 92% of all semi conductors on the planet.
When you choose not to buy local you are almost certainly buying products not made in the USA or your region. If local producers can’t get customers they can’t stay in business. Then everyone is forced to rely on other countries to feed us!
One of my favorite quotes about this was actually an interaction between George W. Bush and Saudi King Abdullah.
Bush said “You know, one day you’re gonna run out of oil.”
The Saudi king smiled and said “Yes, but not before you run out of money Mr. President!”
If we can’t provide for ourselves then we are stuck in a war we can’t win because we will always run out of money before they run out of food to sell us. Economics 101.
5.) Boosts Your Mental Health:
Have you noticed anxiety and depression are at all time highs? I know we have had an economic downturn here recently, but I still believe we have the highest living standards of any generation in history.
Why do we need so much medication to combat our mental suffering if times are so good?
Perhaps this gets into worldview, but I think it's because many of us have made a world all to ourselves. We control when we buy, what we buy, and nothing but our own financial boundaries are there to stop us.
Not to mention, our dopamine synthesis cycle, which is responsible for our pleasure center and motivation, has been hijacked by phones, video games, and social media. All of these sources give us a fake high of motivation and pleasure that has no lasting effect. Instead it often rots into negativity through comparison.
How does buying local help with that? Well there is a seasonality to all of agriculture. Cucumbers are not always in season. Our farm isn’t constantly producing kids or calves. When you work with nature you can do as much prep work as you want, but you can’t make anything grow any faster without messing with something you shouldn’t.
By buying local you are getting to attune yourself to the cycles of nature.
Studies have shown it is anticipation of a positive event that brings us more pleasure than actually living out the event. Working with local sellers keeps you in nature's cycles and builds anticipation. It provides a stabilizing crack in the world we have made for ourselves.
On top of that, many farmers are okay with you coming on their property from time to time. With a proper heads up of course! Besides public parks many of us don’t have a place to go where it’s just…quiet. Farms can be a place of peace where your mind can get back in touch with natural rhythms.
What advantages did I miss about buying local? If done right I think it will be more of a lifestyle shift than a simple transaction.
One that is healthy for you, your family, and your local community!
- Justin Poenisch
P.S. If you are looking to try out some local produce we have our Beat The Heat Box 25% off right now. It comes with a lot of FREE bonuses as well!