04/06/2008 05:37 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Why Food With A Story Is Better

Being connected to one's food should be a given.

But knowing who grew your vegetables, how your meat was raised, who crafted your cheese or what the chicken who laid your egg had for breakfast can prove, to put it mildly, challenging. In the current order of things it takes effort, it takes time, and most of us lack great reserves of either. (A good place to begin is Here you can find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.)

One might ask, why is it so important to know where my food comes from? The answer is simple. If you know how Farmer Maggie cares for her chickens, it follows that you can trust the quality of her eggs. If you are aware of Farmer Dan's methods for growing his green beans, you won't think twice about buying from him. You know his beans are good for you.

Noted food writer Deborah Madison says this, "Food with a story is very exciting to us now, and very vital and important because for so long we've lived with no story to our food. It's so anonymous. It's General Foods, not specific foods. We've really become out of touch with any idea where food comes from." Watch more of what Ms. Madison has to say :

As daunting as it may seem, it's important to start re-connecting with what we eat. In this era of food safety crises -- where a healthy-looking bag of spinach can be anything but, where our climate impact in the form of fuel use is inescapable -- knowing where and how your food was produced is
not trendy or au courant -- it's vital.