eric

Easy farmers market tips

Going to the farmers market is something I always look forward to.  Usually on Sundays after we finish a long run we hit the farmers market before coming home.  In my opinion nothing starts the morning off better than a crepe made fresh right in front of you, then wandering around to pick out  your week’s worth of produce.  With spring upon us, there is no better time year to visit your local market.  The weather is becoming beautiful and the produce is coming into season.  To find a farmers market in your area, click here.

The 100milediet.org has given us 13 easy tips to ensure we get the most from our farmers’ market experience.

The typical vegetable now travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate. Now’s the season to buck the trend and reconnect with your food at your local farmers’ market. Here’s how.

1. If possible, plan to walk, ride a bike, or take public transit to your farmers’ market. Parking can be a hassle. Mid-week markets are quieter, but weekenders often have the best selection.

2. Shop early in the day to get the best food and to avoid missing out on unusual items.

3. Arrive with sturdy cloth bags, a backpack, or a basket, and plan to pay cash. Bring more money than you think you’ll need, and lots of small bills and change.

4. Three ways to save money: First, walk the whole market to check prices. Second, look for foods at their peak of seasonal abundance. Third, make arrangements with market farmers to buy bulk at a discount or to visit their farms for U-pick savings.

get the rest of them at 100milediet.org

eric

Eat local or organic?

The cover story in this month’s Time magazine is called "Eat Local or Organic?"  This is a hot topic right now and after writing yesterday’s article on why we should question our food, a timely one as well. 

Not long ago I had an apple problem. Wavering in the produce section of a Manhattan grocery store, I was unable to decide between an organic apple and a nonorganic apple (which was labeled conventional, since that sounds better than "sprayed with pesticides that might kill you"). It shouldn’t have been a tough choice–who wants to eat pesticide residue?–but the organic apples had been grown in California. The conventional ones were from right here in New York State. I know I’ve been listening to too much npr because I started wondering: How much Middle Eastern oil did it take to get that California apple to me? Which farmer should I support–the one who rejected pesticides in California or the one who was, in some romantic sense, a neighbor? Most important, didn’t the apple’s taste suffer after the fruit was crated and refrigerated and jostled for thousands of miles?

In the end I bought both apples. (They were both good, although the California one had a mealy bit, possibly from its journey.) It’s only recently that I had noticed more locally grown products in the supermarket, but when I got home I discovered that the organic-vs.-local debate has become one of the liveliest in the food world. Last year Wal-Mart began offering more organic products–those grown without pesticides, antibiotics, irradiation and so on–and the big company’s expansion into a once alternative food culture has been a source of deep concern, and predictable backlash, among early organic adopters. 

continue reading at Time Magazine

eric

question food

It seems that there is a lot to learn about how we eat.  Everyday we ask ourselves questions like should I eat organic vs. local,  whole foods vs. procesessed foods, free-range vs. the other.  The strange part about these food dilemmas we face is it should not be this difficult.  We as consumers have been pushed so far away from the food system that we no longer have an understanding of how it works.  Much of the processed food we eat have become so ever present that we hardly even bat an eye before throwing it into our shopping cart.  This is not the food our grandparents ate.  Even our parents were not forced to ask these questions on a daily basis. 

I am not advocating for us all to quit our jobs, move out to the country and buy a farm.  I actually think we can do a better job influencing our food system here in the cities and the ‘burbs.  By visiting farmer’s markets, local grocery stores and restaurants that purchase food locally, we put our money where our mouth is (no pun intended).  Living in a capitalist society where money controls what we eat….we have the choice to give the money to the people that will give us good stuff to eat.  

We can still enjoy our Donuts and Doritos every once in awhile, we just need to remember to pick up some fresh fruit at a roadside stand on our way home. 

eric

eat vegetarian on the cheap

This article came from getrichslowly.org.

About a year-and-a-half ago, for health reasons, my husband and I committed ourselves to a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. At home we eat entirely vegetarian; when we eat out we allow ourselves to choose meat. It’s also a priority for us to avoid the pesticides in non-organic produce and the hormones that come with non-organic dairy products. Here’s how we eat a ton of fruits and veggies at a fraction of the price you might expect.

Our top strategy is to eat locally-produced foods as often as possible. (Actually, eating locally is a priority for us based on both our physiological needs and the need for Americans to reduce oil consumption. Produce at the grocery store has traveled, on average, 1500 miles to reach us!) Because we live in an Atlanta apartment with no yard or porch, we are unable to grow anything ourselves except for herbs — so we seek out local farmers.  Locally-grown foods are sold to us at the peak of their flavor and nutritional value, making them more enjoyable. Buying from local farmers, we are also able to ask whether the foods we are buying have been grown using pesticides. (The organic certification process is expensive for small farmers, so some small farmers may use organic methods but not have government certification for years, if ever.)

continue reading at getrichslowly

 

 

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