March 30, 2010 by 8junebugs
Y’all know I try my best to eat local food, support local restaurants (especially if they cook local food), and grow what food I can manage during the summer. When I buy stuff that isn’t grown or made around here, I try to buy it from shops that are committed to pure and/or well-made food. (lalalaILOVECHEESETIQUElalala)
I try to support Vermont farms and businesses, even from 500 miles away. Sometimes that means buying products here to make sure there’s a market for it, ordering online if that’s an option (hello, King Arthur Flour), or driving home with maple syrup in my trunk. If I could get Monument Farms milk (and could still drink more milk than what goes in my coffee), I’d be a happy girl. But I know and trust those farmers, and those companies, to keep it simple.
It’s a choice — I recognize that. And I know I can make the choice because of where I live and what I do, and because I’m to only person eating off my food budget (and I know Graham couldn’t identify half the stuff in my fridge…).
I do this for a couple of reasons, but the biggest one is that knowing what’s in my food is important to me. You buy from a small farmer and you get a product of their connection to and respect for their land, their livestock, and (often) their family history — real farmers don’t mess around with that. You might get blood, sweat, and tears in your honey, but you won’t get corn syrup. I appreciate that — it may just be food, but it’s honest food. It’s only food, and not some food product designed to increase volume or change a color or disguise something I might not actually want to eat.
I don’t know about you, but the FDA’s approach to food labeling/safety — roughly: “If it ain’t killing anybody, we don’t have time to deal with it” — doesn’t really work for me. In the absence of robust federal oversight, I’ll just stick with food sources I can trust and ingredients I can control.