Blogger’s note: This is a guest post coming from two very experienced PASA farmers regarding the potential impact of the rules being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). I have learned that it is often best to just step aside and let the farmers we work with do the talking, and this piece helps to prove that point! Readers should keep in mind that the FSMA rules are open to public comment through November 15 of this year. To learn more, please look elsewhere on this blog, or check the National Sustainable Ag Coalition website on this matter. BWS
By Michael Tabor, Needmore, PA and Nick Maravell, Buckeystown, MD
Each week at my farm stands in the Maryland area, we try to explain a peculiar situation to our customers. On the one hand, they want to buy our fresh fruit and vegetables. However, I tell then, that in a few years, these will all be illegal to sell!
Because they have some degree of dirt and bacteria on them. The strawberries for instance, have some trace amount of straw and soil on them. As do the tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers. We do rinse them before leaving the farm – but we won’t put them through a disinfectant bath nor pack them in antiseptic plastic containers and put “PLU” labels on them. That’s not what consumers want at a farm market—nor is it something we’ll ever be able to do. Continue reading