Our Food System Made Simple: Real Time Farms

Introducing Real Time Farms:  a user-generated, online, nationwide food guide that is tapping into and inspiring a growing population of conscious eaters. This handy website helps you understand where your food comes from. You can learn about farms in your area, and see where you can get their goods at farmers markets, farm stands, and restaurants around you.

Named by Food Inc, as “our new favorite website,” Real Time Farms aims to become the most engaging and colorful food guide available.  These days it has become a difficult task to find foods you can trust to put on your plate. Think about your last shopping experience–you were probably inundated with phrases like “grass-fed,” “organic,” and “hormone-free.” But what does all of this mean? And how do we really know that the farms live up to these claims? Real Time Farms removes the mystery by providing a comprehensive national food guide that enables you to follow your food back to the farm it came from. Go beyond buzzwords and see for yourself how farms and artisans are producing your food.

This past season, Real Time Farms released a brigade of Food Warrior interns on Portland to document Portland’s food system. In four months, they documented over 130 Portland area farms and 120 food artisans, 30 farmers markets, and shot and uploaded over 1500 photos.

“The Food Warrior Program offered me the chance to get to know the knowledgeable, generous, passionate people who provide wholesome food to the Portland community. I highly encourage everyone to start learning more about the people who make up our food culture. This simple act has the power to strengthen our community and make for more meaningful meals,” Portland Food Warrior Gina Lorubbio describes of her experience.

At the heart of Real Time Farms, and of the Food Warriors’ efforts, are farm and food artisan profiles that let you get to know your local producers. Follow your food back to the farm, whether you’re looking at a local restaurant menu, or want to visit and shop from a local farmers market vendor.

Anyone can continue what the Food Warriors have started by adding to the guide with images and stories of local farmers and food artisans. With your help, we can all have access to honest ingredients from farmers and artisans we know by name.

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