I have spent much of my adult life wondering why we crave those things that aren’t great for our health. Few, including myself, can resist junk food from time to time. Pop and chips leave the grocery store with little attention paid to the cost, whether it be fully registered at the cash register or found years later as the signs of aging lead us to the doctor’s office. Now, I can’t say that good food is the key to eternal youth as we all have to get old, but I do know it sure helps me feel better. Yet the other cravings keep us coming back. The first time I noticed a true break in my cravings was after fasting from sugar. It seems to reset the bodies ability to decern good from bad. This past fall when I fasted for three days on apples alone I felt great eating plain yogurt that first no fast day and tasting sweetness that I had never noticed. Vegetables once again had an amazing flavor. Sausage with just salt, pepper and sage had a wonderfully full flavor. I was able to easily avoid all sugar and junk food for many months. Little by little they crept back in. This process is frustrating. Yet it gives me compassion for all of America fighting the fight to eat better with a grocery store full of processed, tantalizing food. The value of food is often misconstrued. A pound of grass fed beef for $5.50 seems high to some while the cost of a two liter pop and a bag of chips at $5.50 doesn’t seem bothersome at all to many. The farmers that come into our processing facility can be frustrated by processing costs because their customers aren’t raving about locally produced antibiotic and growth hormone free beef for just $2.50/lb on the hanging weight yet most would spend that on a candy bar and pop without thinking about it. Are we paying for nutritional benefit? This example hit home this week when we lost one of our employees to a higher paying job at Frito Lay. It pointed out to me the work we have laid out in front of us to create and grow good rural jobs at both the farm and our processing facility. I am happy to be doing this in a society that is now being awakened to the choice in food products out there. I believe you should be able to make a livable wage producing good, clean food. I knew when we purchased the processing facility and took over employment that we needed to get prices in line with supporting a better rate of employment or we would not keep good employees. I am embarrased for all of Americans that Frito Lay can offer a better wage, but know that we will work to make our company one that will also provide a livable wage while supporting farmers and their products and educating consumers as to why we need to strive to walk away from the allure of chips and pop and turn to the simple yet wonderful flavors of the non processed foods grown on local Indiana Farms. Thank you for making this work possible.