By Matt McIntosh, Farm & Food Care
Like many, I enjoy knowing how things work — there’s a reason shows such as “How It’s Made” have been through nearly 30 seasons, after all.
In the spirit of seeing first-hand how something comes to be, I’m excited to say Farm & Food Care’s latest project, FarmFood360°, is now live. With a new website and mobile capability, the project uses 360 degree video and VR (virtual reality) technology to give viewers an immersive look at where our food comes from.
The first tour looks at a dairy farm where the animals are in charge. It’s a modern farm where cows use a voluntary milking system; that’s a milking system that, quite literally, lets them choose when they want to be milked.
The remaining two tours showcase dairy processing plants: one for milk and one for cheese — one of my personal culinary favourites.
Being able to tour facilities like these virtually is also a handy thing because access to these type of locations is, generally, restricted to ensure food safety and quality.
Understanding that there are real people behind the food we eat is critical, too, so there’s also a wealth of interviews with dedicated Canadian farm families and food processing company employees. The story of our food begins and ends with people, after all, so it only makes sense to include them.
At Farm & Food Care, we’re planning to expand the FarmFood360 website to include more 360° tours in 2017. Food literacy is important to so many people, whether in a personal or professional capacity, and I’d like to think this project helps those interested get the facts in the most compelling way possible — both where food comes from, and how it gets to store shelves.
We’re appreciative too, to our partners at Dairy Farmers of Canada and Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., to helping us get this project off the ground.
If interested, check out www.FarmFood360.ca. Our 23 older point-and-click virtual farm tours are there too (filmed over the last 10 years); they may not look as fancy, but there’s still a wealth of information on all kinds of Canadian farms, from vegetables and eggs, to ostrich and elk.
It’s up now, it’s free, and in my humble opinion, the Internet is better because of it.