You might be wondering while going through this blog, just how we found some of our most amazing urban farmers. With the help of Real Time Farms of course – a new website founded by married couple, Karl and Cara Rosaen that is a crowd-sourced online food guide. It provides visitors of the website with information about restaurants and local farms in order to learn more about where their food is coming from. We might be staying “in the know” through Real Time Farms but Cara spoke with us and shared just how her and her husband – a former Google Android senior engineer, came up with the idea for their website and how it takes literally an army of “Food Warriors” to document our food system.
Q: So Cara, how did you and your husband, Karl, come up with Real Time Farms?
A: We had read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and seen Food, Inc. but one of the biggest problems, once you find a problem, is finding an alternative. The first problem was food distribution and one solution to that was the ability for people to find food in their area that they feel good about eating but also being able to trace back to finding the source of the food. A kind of food transparency. We knew with technology we could do that. It was important that we were a resource but also a neutral territory. Our goal was how to get my Mom and Dad interested.
Q: How to get Mom and Dad interested and still be able to use the website right! What kind of relationship does this website create with people and the food they eat?
A: Real Time Farms aggregates all the data. It is trying to connect consumers to their goods.
Q: Because consumers cannot always physically do so when you live in New York City?
A: Right. People are adding farms everyday, both big and small. We want to be a Wikipedia of Farms.
Q: So today people are more educated about food?
A: The food system isn’t what people thought it was; they can’t take that for granted that there are chemicals involved they might not be happy about or animals are not treated right. Why are there eggs that are $1.99 and others that are $6.99? People see images of animals at farms that are shocking but people need to be encouraged. We are really good at connecting you to the human behind the farms and their growing practices so people can find food based on that. We want to make it simpler without dumbing it down.
If you have time…watch Cara’s Ted Talk!