Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Freaking Out About Food

As if I needed something else to freak out about. I have been reading food books all summer. And now I have just enough information to be dangerous. I am reading these:

I am a little concerned with our national food supply and our American way of doing things faster and cheaper. There are so many statistics in both books that just make me want to crawl under the bed and live on dust bunnies. How did we get to the point that the majority of our calories come from three crops (corn, soy and wheat) that have been genetically modified to be resistant to the chemicals supplied by the very same supplier of the seeds? And what's the alternative? Luckily both books are pretty detailed in offering solutions. Obviously organic produce is an option. But you have to make sure it's not coming from too far away. And then there's growing your own. Which works much better in a climate not considered "hell." And we use a lot of water to sustain our desert crops. Then there's the farmers market. I have been frequenting a local market on Friday mornings and the produce offerings are abundant. I even bought farm fresh eggs last time and I am well stocked in local honey. Sometimes they even have grass fed beef for sale. I placed an order for grass fed beef from a farm in southern Arizona because I wanted to see if we could taste a difference and I wanted to support local ranching. I know some people think suburbanites have way too much money and time on their hands and are always looking for eco chic ways to save the planet. But seriously, grass fed beef beats store bought's butt. It just had so much more flavor and texture. I am a convert. Ultimately though, the trick is deciding to eat in season and giving up things from far, far away. I had to tell my littlest she couldn't have apples this week because New Zealand was far away across the ocean. She didn't really understand but her attention turned to peaches so everything worked out. And it's kind of cool to eat things just because you need to use them up. This morning I had cereal but no bananas. Do we even grow bananas in the United States? So I looked in the fridge and I had a delicious local peach in need of being eaten. Why didn't I think of that sooner? I know it may take a little more time and money trying to eat sustainably but if I can make up for a little human arrogance by spending an extra hour a week and a few dollars more, I'm all in.


L Harris said...

I totally understand; we are trying to eat better too - both whole grains, veggies and local meat.

I didn't think about it until you said it about the corn, soy and wheat! But when we gave up bread type products for two weeks to kick the carb habit, that was tough!

Lizzi said...

I'm trying to feed my family better. We're doing okay, but I'd like to do a whole lot better. What farmer's market do you go to?