BOISE -- Farm to fork generally refers to the idea that we really should know where our food comes from and buy local when possible.
However, there are people that only buy local, as much as possible. They are called locavores. For them, buying local also means getting to know the producer - people like rancher Ed Wilsey.
The fall season means it's time to wean the calves at Wilsey Ranch, located 25 miles south of Marsing.
You know these calves are pretty skittish, says Wilsey. They've just lost their mommas.
Wilsey is used to showing people around his herd. The growing locavore movement means more and more people want to see with their own eyes where their food is coming from.
They want to know what we're raising, why we're raising it. They want to know how we treat our animals, Wilsey said. And what we grow here, that's what they get to eat, and they get all they want.
Wilsey's operation is GAP certified. That stands for Global Animal Partnership which is a guarantee that his animals have a good life. His cattle and hogs are 100 percent grass fed.
Our cows just live in their natural environment their whole life. They're never locked up in confinement over a week their whole life. They're never force fed.They're never fed grain. They're never fed any byproducts. They're never given antibiotics, growth hormones. We keep 'em on high plain nutrition. We have very little sickness, and that's how I like it, said Wilsey.
However, grass fed means leaner meat with more omega-3, attributes Wilsey and other similar ranchers tout. They have to because you pay a premium to eat his beef and pork. One reason is that it takes longer to mature on grass alone.
It's another year's investment. I realize it's just grass, but it's not free, laughs Wilsey.
When they are ready for market, the cattle leave Wilsey Ranch bound to become Homestead Natural Food, a small local label that is sold to stores and restaurants.
The Homestead Natural Food label, which is packed at Northwest Premium Meats in Nampa, is the only USDA inspected plant available to small meat producers in the area. A requirement that adds its own costs to eating the close to home alternative to mass produced meats.
Owner Tim Brown says it is simply a numbers game. It's mind boggling. For us to process 10 in a day is a lot. For the big plants a thousand head, 1,500 is normal, so it's definitely a challenge.
But, it's challenge that is being met by the growing popularity of this farm to fork movement.
The Boise Co-Op's Matt Fuxan says demand for these products is, in his word, insane. He believes awareness is the fuel.
We're starting to question everything in our lives, and one of those things is the food industry and asking how is my food being raised and brought to market, says Fuxan.
Lifestyle shifts may also be a factor.
Eating locally and eating healthy, it's also about realizing you don't need to eat quite so much meat, Fuxan says.
Fuxan does not think it is a fad but a growing understanding about the need to preserve what he calls our food shed. That's our food security, knowing how to grow food here to supply our community.
For Wilsey, of course it is financial security but something more too. I've seen a lot of local rural Idaho towns waste away because people don't spend their money locally and so the money goes away. Local food, whether you buy it from me or any other farmers, the money stays in the community, and so I think the local movement is great.
Therefore, we bet you're wondering how much more you'll pay for Wilsey's beef over the conventional mass produced meat at the grocery store. Well, one pound of Homestead's lean grass fed Beef runs $6.99 a pound at the Boise Co-Op, while one pound of ground beef from Winco is around $3.58 a pound.
The cost is almost twice as much, but it's a price many locavores are willing to pay.