For as long as she can remember, Charlotte Rommereim has enjoyed growing and raising food on her family farm. She and her husband, Steve, grow soybeans and corn, and raise pigs and cattle on the same land her great-great grandfather homesteaded in 1874. While it’s great knowing exactly where most of her family’s meat comes from, the cut for this savory Spanish-Style Pork Tenderloin is actually from a store.
“I often buy pork loin and tenderloin from the grocery store like everyone else because we run out of those cuts first,” said Charlotte. “I am grateful to have access to food that’s fresh, frozen or canned whether or not it’s raised on my farm.”
That’s because the Rommereims know firsthand farmers today make animal care and sustainability a priority. Charlotte and Steve keep their pigs comfortable and safe in efficient, climate-controlled barns and feed them healthy, balanced diets that typically include soybeans and other crops grown on their farm. The Rommereims sell the majority of their pigs to Smithfield/John Morrell in Sioux Falls. From there, their meat is found in grocery stores across the nation wherever Smithfield/John Morrell meat is sold.
Since Charlotte is also a registered dietitian she understands why people may gravitate toward purchasing foods labeled as locally grown. They may perceive them to be safer, fresher and/or better for the environment. As it turns out, buying food from grocery store provides all the safety and sustainability families crave.
“The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University reports that the number of transportation miles and the amount of energy involved in producing and shipping food indicates what is local but not what is environmentally friendly. Sometimes growing and harvesting local food takes more energy and makes a larger impact on the environment than growing food far away and having it shipped,” explained Charlotte.
She makes her food choices based on nutrition, taste, convenience and price. That includes both stopping at an area farmers market and grabbing groceries from her local grocery store. No matter where you shop, the important thing is remembering that today’s farm families care about feeding yours.
“A farmer who markets their products indirectly doesn’t get the gratification of meeting the people who eat the food they raise, but that doesn’t mean we are any less conscious of our responsibility to provide safe and nutritious food,” said Charlotte.
She looks forward to a time when blockchain technology makes it easier to connect food from farm to fork. Until then, she’s excited to open her kitchen and serve up some Latin flare with Spanish-Style Pork Tenderloin.
Learn more about how the Rommereims take care of their animals and if there’s hormones in your pork. Don’t forget to subscribe to our e-newsletter to get farm stories, recipes and more delivered to your inbox each month.
Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.