Crops Insights

‘Before the Plate’: You don’t know what you don’t know

Dylan Sher - Before The Plate | AGDAILY


As a kid growing up in the city who was interested in where our food came from, I thought I had it pretty well figured out. The problem seemed relatively straightforward. I thought the big, bad, scary ag companies had taken over and that farmers were at their mercy. I thought I was doing farmers a service by only buying organic and and trying my best to figure out what was “non- GMO.”

The reason myself and most other city dwellers who were concerned about our food did this was to support farmers! The narrative we received in the city painted an ugly picture of “corporate” and “factory” farms taking over, and we thought making these purchasing decisions would help protect farmers.

Fast forward to today: I am now in the midst of completing my agricultural business degree at the University of Guelph, and the reason I previously thought the way I did started to become clear. As an urbanite, myself and my friends were simply confused. We trusted farmers but not “big ag.” We thought the disciplines were completely separate and that the family farm was under threat.

What has become extremely clear to me now is that the “family farm” can be a highly efficient large-scale operation, and the pride and level of quality has stayed exactly the same. Just because the farmer now uses large equipment and perhaps chooses to plant genetically modified crops does not mean that he or she is suddenly a heartless factory farmer. It just means they have scaled up with the times, and we should stand by them and support them just as much as a small-scale operation with an old open cab tractor.

This is what “Before The Plate” intends to demonstrate with a story that everyone in the city can relate to. It’s not the typical documentary that shows farming in a negative light; it’s not the story of protests and activism against agriculture. It’s a story about food, and all the hard-working people who allow us to enjoy it three times a day. It starts with a plate of food in one of Toronto’s finest restaurants and takes us on the amazing journey of where it all came from.


To connect with “Before the Plate’s” journey, follow them on Facebook and on Instagram and stay tuned to Click here to donate to “Before the Plate’s” Kickstarter campaign.


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