Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Channel Your Granny

Ah! Farmers markets! Imagine a piece of vegetable still with some dirt attached, yet fresh and firm and brightly colored. A tub of freshly-made cheese with herbs - sold in a simple plastic cup with a hand-written description on the label. A cryovaced package of deep-red lamb chops with a thin white rind of fat. Baskets of peaches so fragrant you don't even have to bend over to catch their scent. Innovative specialty food products by artisan micro manufacturers offering soups and salsas, jams and pickled goodies, natural sweeteners and uber-healthy crackers.

These are some of the many beautiful impressions you get at a local farmers market. Millions of Americans have re-discovered the benefits of clean, fresh, and local foods: it contains more nutrition, flavor, and natural life force. It nourishes us much better than weeks-old supermarket produce that's been transported for thousands of miles, sitting in storage houses, exposed to extreme temperatures - after a premature harvest and a hefty spraying with enhancing chemicals. "Enhancing" what? The looks, the shelf life - but at what expense? We're fed a sub-prime food with added chemicals that make us sick in the long run.

Is it really cheaper to buy at the local WalMart? In my opinion, it's more expensive! Do we really believe the corporate propaganda that tries to tell us they provide jobs to our communities? The truth is they take away our beloved small local businesses and replace them with a small fraction of low-wage labor. They get rewarded by our moronic government entities with tax relief and other incentives. They get rich by destroying our neighborhoods. And who pays for all that? We do.

Shouldn't our money go to our own communities, furthering our own prosperity? It's a social and political no-brainer - it's much better for all of us to "buy local". Let's seek out the farmers and their markets in our neighborhoods, let's find the newly emerging small neighborhood groceries providing an outlet for our local food artisans. Let's help ourselves and get healthier along the way!

Dr. Kracker co-founder George Eckrich posted a wonderful article on his blog. It begins:

"In my opinion, Michael Pollan is one of the most important food writers of our generation. His reports on cattle feedlots and grass fed alternatives have deepened our understanding the food supply chain from farm to table; he’s influenced where we shop and what we buy in our grocery stores; and he has highlighted the importance of farmers’ markets, and aided the efforts of so many people who work to encourage the support of local foods."

"I very much enjoyed Pollan’s latest book: In Defense of Food. Its two big themes are the processing and industrialization of food and the errors the U.S. government has made in its food recommendations, particularly the lipid or fat hypothesis. I’ll leave the discussion of the latter theme for another time. In this post, I want to focus on that first theme, and Pollan’s arguments and recommendations that so closely echo my own strong beliefs."

"In Defense of Food begins with very simple advice: ” ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’ That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.” (pg. 1, first paragraph). I consider Dr. Kracker very much to be part of this admonishment to eat real food!"

Please continue reading on George's blog...

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Farmer's markets are wonderful. In NYC, however, they're not usually around the corner. Alas.