How Food Gets From the Farm to Your Home
When you go grocery shopping, you don’t often think about where your food is coming from. There are several steps required for your food to get from the farm it is grown on to your kitchen counter.
Every season, farmers prepare their fields for seeds to be planted. Once weeds are cleared and seeds are in, the plants will need to be watched and tended to. It’s important to make sure no pests cause the plants any harm so they can be harvested later. Once the fields are fully grown and ready for harvest, combines or other large pieces of machinery are used to cut plants from their stems and separate the different parts of the plant. After harvesting, the product may be stored in bulk silos until it is sold and distributed.
A manufacturing plant will turn the harvested crop into a product so it can be packaged and sold. Grains are often used for livestock feed or made into other food products. Soybeans, for example, can be used to extract soy lecithin or refined into soybean oil for cooking. Fresh produce will be sorted, graded, and cleaned before packaging into bundles or crates. The manufacturing process can vary depending on the product being made, but everything will be checked for quality assurance before being shipped to a store for sale.
Once the products are packaged in their final form, bulk orders can be processed and shipped to stores across the country. As truckloads arrive at their destinations, workers will unload products from pallets so they can be stacked and organized on the store shelves. Extra products that don’t fit on the shelf will be stored in large warehouses. Fresh produce can be stored in large walk-in coolers to extend its shelf life.
Next time you purchase something from the grocery store, you can appreciate your food more by knowing where it all comes from.