What is a "Food Philosophy"?

Niemann Harvest Market Guiding Belief Principles

When everything is available, accessible and within reach, the problem for consumers becomes not one of scarcity but abundance. Every year, companies, large and small, release thousands of new food products to add to the enormous list already available. Amid the glut, how do you find what is right for you? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

A Food Philosophy helps us, Niemann Harvest Market, separate out, or curate, great products and present them to you, the customer. Customers are asking, who can I trust in helping with my choices? Recommendations allow us to find what we might love (like a matchmaking service), to find inspiration and to fulfill our pragmatic needs without wandering in the aisles. The act of curating is as valuable, one might argue, as the things and products themselves. Isn’t the Google search algorithm a form of curation? Curation is only going to loom larger in our lives as time goes on, and our food options continue to multiply.

The most trusted and effective curation comes from our friends, who recommend new products, recipes, meals, restaurants and sources to us. Personal curation initiates a kind of gift-giving process, as an exchange of information may in turn lead you to recommend something to others in the future.

Components of a Food Philosophy

A food philosophy statement includes a set of principles that explain what guides us, how those guiding ideas affect our decision-making and what outcomes we are aiming for. Whether written down or not, all people and organizations have a philosophy. This Niemann Harvest Market Food Philosophy statement will spell out the filters we use to decide on featured products and our guiding belief principles.

We vow to

Know the Farmer. Know the Maker. Know the Source.

Know the Farmer

Whenever possible, we will visit the fields where the product is grown or the source of production—or both. We want to be able to say that we stepped on the soil, smelled the fields and saw the farm first-hand. We toured the manufacturing process or heard the machines and saw the tools at work. Above all, we talked with these people, shook their hands and looked them in the eye. We got to know them and tried to understand what they’re all about.

We will

Talk to the Farmer or Maker

of each product featured here.

A Note of Clarification

To be clear, our Know The Farmer Standard includes a wide range of different steps in the overall process that takes a product from growth or production, through processing and manufacturing, distribution and transportation, and finally to the store shelf and into the homes of our customers. When we state that Niemann Harvest Market should Know the Maker, that also means the Processor or Manufacturer, whether it’s The Butcher, The Baker or The Candlestick Maker. Many products have a large number of micro-steps involved in their production. And while we don’t need to meet every single organization or individual involved (e.g. the independent truck driver transporting produce from the fields to the processing plant that makes strawberry jam), we want to know the key players.

Rolling Lawns Farm

Why are we doing this?

Because we feel that real products made by real people are extremely valuable, today more than ever in our mass-produced and mass-processed world. And we know that regular people—our shoppers, and would-be shoppers—want to buy these special and unique products. They want to learn more about and engage with these products and producers.

What are we hoping to accomplish?

We want to turn customers on to new and novel products. We want to support small producers, manufacturers and farmers, and encourage them to keep making great products that we’ll help sell on our shelves. We want to engage our team and internal culture in a common cause and a special reason for what we do here. And of course, we want Niemann Harvest Market to be an expert source for unique and authentic products that come from the farm.

Our Maxim

It has to Taste Better. It has to Be Better.

Harvested Veggies

Taste the Difference

In the end, the ultimate test for any product that we feature is that it has to taste really great and be of high quality. There’s no use in supporting a local producer or a small batch farmer product if the product doesn’t taste great.

What is great taste?

For example, how can we credibly distinguish a good egg from a great egg? Through our Taste-Testing the Farm Difference Process, a team of Niemann Harvest Market leaders, chefs and regular folks, including shoppers, vote with their taste buds. And when products make it through that process, they’ll receive our “blue ribbon” seal of approval.

We will determine that

Featured Niemann Harvest Market Products Taste Excellent

and will have received our seal of approval.

Why are we doing this?

It seems like one of the main reasons why we want to connect to the farm and the land is because we believe in a kind of “purity” or real-ness of taste in these products. For example, we want strawberry jam that really resonates with the taste of a great strawberry, not with an artificial sweetener. We want orange juice that smells like it was just picked and squeezed. We want beef with real taste, aroma and texture, never bland or tough.

What are we hoping to accomplish?

We believe in eating well. And we know that our customers want to eat great quality food that tastes great.