MANHATTAN, Kan. — Food bloggers have been sharing their stories about their farm to food experience with their readers since returning home from the #Wheat2Bread tour last month. Kansas Wheat teamed up with Red Star Yeast to bring nine food bloggers to Kansas during wheat harvest. With a combined reach of 5.4 million social media followers, these bloggers are sharing the farmers’ story with consumers across the United States.
“One thing became clear to me on this trip: I am very disconnected from where my food comes from,” wrote Kristin of BakerBettie.com in Chicago, Illinois. “It is so easy to grab things at the grocery store and never consider how they truly came to be. I absolutely loved the experience of becoming more connected to the source of wheat, which is such a huge part of my life.”
The bloggers visited wheat harvest at Scott VanAllen’s farm in Sumner County on June 12. Each of them had the opportunity to ride in the combine with VanAllen and harvest wheat.
“As we stood in the field, blowing in the Kansas wind, it really hit me what an incredible source of life wheat is. We learned that 20% of all calories consumed in the world come from wheat. That is just insane to think about,” wrote Kristin. “And so I asked Scott what he wished the everyday consumer understood about his product. He responded,
‘I want people to know that I’m producing a safe product. I think there is a lot of fear around where our food comes from. But hopefully coming straight to the source you can see that we take pride in what we do and we want to produce food that is safe to eat, because our family eats it too.'”
Research has shown that consumers want to know more about their food, how it is produced and where it comes from. By inviting influencers such as food bloggers to the farm, Kansas farmers are able to share their story with a broader consumer audience.
Jessica of A-Kitchen-Addiction.com in Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote, “I love learning more about where my food comes from. There is so much information out there from all different sides, so it is nice to go straight to the source and see it for myself.”
“I enjoyed our time with Scott, and I was impressed with his passion for farming and commitment to doing it right,” wrote Annalise of CompletelyDelicious.com in Salt Lake City, Utah. “And I loved learning the story behind all that flour I use in my baking!”
The #Wheat2Bread tour also had Jenny Goering, a farmer from McPherson County, accompany the food bloggers the duration of the trip. This allowed participants to always have a farmer on hand to ask questions of. Goering was able to share her experiences managing two farms, one conventional and one organic, and tell tales of her family’s harvest traditions.
Stefani of CupcakeProject.com in St. Louis, Missouri, loved the interactions she was able to have with Kansas wheat farmers.
“As someone whose livelihood is so closely tied to wheat, it was an honor to get to stand in wheat fields and meet the folks who bring the wheat to us,” she wrote.
Adriana from AdrianasBestRecipes.com in Orlando, Florida, encouraged her readers to ask farmers when they have questions about food.
“Many times I have shared the importance of getting to know where the food that we eat comes from,” wrote Adriana. “If you have the chance to meet a farmer, ask questions and learn the process. Nonetheless, the appreciation for food and the knowledge of what you and your family are consuming is safe and nutritious.”
One of her readers, “Erica,” commented, “I think it’s really interesting to learn about farming and food production.”
While in Kansas, the bloggers also visited Farmer Direct Foods in New Cambria and the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan. There, they had a hands-on baking experience where they got to complete the farm to food circle. Jill Ladd, a registered dietitian, was also on hand to talk about wheat’s nutritional value.
Other bloggers on the tour included Lori from TheKitchenWhisperer.net in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Abby from HeartofaBaker.com in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Sally from SallysBakingAddiction.com in Baltimore, Maryland; and Jamie from LoveBakesGoodCakes.com in Phoenix, Arizona.
This tour was just one of many ways wheat farmers are sharing their story with consumers. Visit eatwheat.org to learn more and to read each of the bloggers’ stories.
— Kansas Wheat
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