Thursday, October 27, 2011
eating the locavore way
Recently I posted some thoughts on organic food and gardening. Food is such a centerpiece of our lives that I wanted to write more about the evolution of our eating choices. Ever since reading a few books about how processed our food has become in America, Nate and I have been gradually changing the way we eat. First we cut out fast food almost completely and began eating more organic food back in 2003 after reading Fast Food Nation. Fast forward a few years to after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma; Michael Pollan's book encouraged us to change our thinking again to look toward more local food rather than solely focusing on organic.
We now know that organic can be as big business as industrial food production, and we increasingly trust and rely on our local farmers to produce healthy food for our dinner table as much as we can afford to do. The "locavore" movement, as it's called, encourages healthful and sustainable food production by focusing on less miles traveled rather than obsessing over the USDA organic certification.
We participated in a CSA last year, and although we didn't do it again this year, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and plan to do it again in the future. This winter we are participating in a local, non-organic meat CSA for the first time, and we are impatiently and enthusiastically waiting for it to begin. If you're still not sold on the notion of prioritizing local over organic, I read a great article last week about why organic is not always better. In addition to purchasing locally, we are also trying to eat seasonally as much as possible. Who knows, I may even begin preserving food soon. Baby steps.
It seems to me that eating food, watching people make food, and buying food is hitting some kind of tipping point lately. Earlier this week I listened to NPR's "On Point" with Adam Gopnik, a food writer who has written a new book on eating well. My favorite part is when he discusses how people of different cultures around the world turn to rice pudding more than any other food when experiencing family events and milestones. Rice pudding! My favorite. Another quick read this week comes from "How to Cook Everything" author Mark Bittman, who shared a letter to chefs on eating well.