TED TALK corner: Revisiting the ideas behind shopping at farmers’ markets

The notion of buying produce from your local farmers’ market has been around for a while. But Mohammad Modarres drives home the point in ways that are compelling and righteous to a fault.
Mohammad Modarres
Mohammad Modarres


By training, he was a public health practitioner, but Modarres happened to enter the food world by accident when he produced the first two-in-one Interfaith Meat that is both (Zabihah) Halal and (Glatt) Kosher. His pitch note for this meat was that it helped early adopters significantly reduce food waste, save their time, money and even inventory space.
Speaking to his audience, Modarres says that farmers who feed our communities cannot afford the food that they grow themselves. He goes on to say that a handful of companies control the complete food supply chain, from the IP of seeds to produce and livestock, and even the financial institutions who lend to these farmers. What it has led to is the end of family farms as we know it, and of course, a total economic collapse, the likes of which were witnessed in the 80s in the US. But help seems to be at hand as Modarres believes shopping at one’s local farmer markets could be the answer to our prayers.
Farmers under contract with Big Agro and large format stores are at the receiving end of several woes, the biggest of which is not being offered a fair price for their goods. The average farmer makes less than 15 cents for every dollar on a product one purchases at a store. Compare this to farmers who sell their products at a farmers’ market and take home at least 90 cents for every dollar. Apart from this, one of the biggest incentives to shopping at such markets is the fact that farmers use such avenues to nurture the next generation of agriculturalists. These youngsters will lead the promotion and preservation of diverse land use.  Modarres sums up saying if we want to avoid the high costs of cheap food, protect our environment, rebuild our communities and save our farmers – literally – we’re going to need to vote with our food purchases.
Synopsis: The average farmer in America makes less than 15 cents of every dollar on a product that you purchase at a store. They feed our communities, but farmers often cannot afford the very foods they grow. In this actionable talk, social entrepreneur Mohammad Modarres shows how to put your purchasing power into action to save local agriculture from collapse and transform the food industry from the bottom up 
Noteworthy: Modarres developed the first-ever Zabihah Halal and Glatt Kosher “Interfaith Meat” to make faith-based foods more accessible. As the founder of Abe’s Eats, he is working to create a more inclusive and equitable food system for all. With past lives as the cofounder of a biotech company, award-winning political cartoonist and creative strategist for non-profits and public companies alike, he’s always sought to produce products and programs that break barriers and bring people together 

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