Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sicily is Local? I Wish...

Locally grown asparagus, Old Hook Farm, Emerson, NJ. I can't wait to make cream of asparagus soup with this.

Is olive oil produced in Sicily considered local if it has a Brooklyn address? The Whole Foods Market in Paramus, NJ, seems to think so, according to Second Helpings.

Beware of dubious marketing as the local movement strengthens. Most of the food industry banks on the fact that the consumer does not question much, and they usually don't.

"So their minds are soft and lazy," Natalie Merchant reminds us in the 10,000 Maniacs song, "Candy Everybody Wants."

I cherish my weekly visits to Old Hook Farm. While mega-stores like the new 63,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods and a Fairway Market are taking over in nearby Paramus, I prefer supporting my local, organic farmer.

Many people grumble about not being able to find more money to spend on organics, yet a lot of these same people who I encounter regularly come up with funds in a flash for the highest end cable package, Netflix on top of that, every new gadget that comes out, gas guzzling cars and more. No wonder there's no money left! But why is what goes in your body such an afterthought?

I am an advocate of frugality and a staunch opponent of the idea of living beyond your means. Americans have been duped into believing everything is a necessity, but clean drinking water and air, fertile soil, and animal welfare have not made the priority list.

I'm rejecting the idea of acquiring so much 'stuff.' I love the Gardenburger philosophy, "We believe in healthy eating and great-tasting foods, gardens, respect for all living things, moms and dads, independence, veggies, education, healthy kids, a good earth, and happy people."

There are two million farms in the USA, and about 80% of those are small farms, according to Local Harvest. Find a local farm near you.

Not ready to give up your Mexican avocados? Don't fret. I try and eat locally what can be grown locally. I do believe you have to support farmers in other nations. But I don't support buying an apple from New Zealand when I can buy one from New Jersey, and I love the idea of seasonal eating. Remember when watermelon was just a summertime treat?

Hit your local library for a vegan cookbook, or take to the web. I found recipe ideas for beets with mustard dressing, to accompany carrot ginger soup or creamy broccoli soup. Perfect with a crusty loaf of bread.

"Glazed apathetic leash."
10,000 Maniacs - Candy Everybody Wants

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