There has been an increased passion from consumers to know about the food they eat and where it comes from. This is exactly how we feel, so we source a lot of our products from farmers in our region. We value exceptionally good tasting food, grown out of the conscientious of the environment, people’s health and the community’s well being. Here are a few points of why supporting regional agriculture matters:
Smaller carbon footprint
Occasionally we receive phone calls from people outside our distribution area, hoping to have our products shipped to them. We kindly let them know we are currently not able to. Not only is our business small, but our focus is primarily regional sourcing and distributing. Less miles traveled from farms that focus on sustainable practices translates to fewer carbon emissions that negatively impact the environment. We are currently experimenting with biodiesels made locally from reclaimed oils in order to improve fuel efficiency and reduce diesel emissions.
We would like our business to be an inspiring model that can easily adapt to other regions of the country and the world.
Preserving regional farmland & promoting genetic diversity
Supporting food production that is grown and distributed regionally strengthens regional, sustainable farms. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in the last 50 years the number of farms has shrunk, but the size of farms has grown—demonstrating the consolidation and industrialization of US agriculture.
At Hummingbird Wholesale, we offer local infrastructure, financial support, consulting advice, and marketing outlets for regional farmers that are competing with large industrial farms. By supporting farmers in our area, we increase viability for these farms. This support also increases the opportunity for jobs that are associated with growing, processing and distributing food in the Northwest.
We work in partnership with farmers to grow plant varieties that thrive in our region, offer higher nutrients, and taste better than products grown commercially. Introducing uncommon varieties into the market is challenging, but we think the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot. By introducing unusual and heirloom varieties we offer unique flavor profiles, help promote genetic diversity, and help our farmers produce products that are naturally adaptable to this region.
If you look at the ingredient list of packaged foods, you may find a lot of extra additives. Because processed foods typically come from all over, the product most likely will have preservatives—excess trans fats, sodium and sugars that are used to improve shelf stability. Whole foods with single ingredients, or ingredients one can understand, most often means clean eating. Foods grown as locally as possible tend to be fresher, improving the product’s shelf life naturally.
We work with farmers and organizations whose values match our own. We want to know about our farmer’s growing practices, so we ask. Having this relationship with food and the people who grow it increases our appreciation and respect of nourishing our bodies. Being able to provide information about where our food is coming from will help people improve the way they eat, and their overall health.