You are what/where you eat2
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.
“The job of ensuring that food is accurately labeled largely rests with the Food and Drug Administration. But it has been overwhelmed in trying to prevent food contamination, and fraud has remained on a back burner.”
That’s such a blatant lie. It makes my disdain for the FDA that much more.
I try to buy organic and all natural. I do try to purchase locally when I can, but with two kids, it’s much harder to make several trips. It’s something I deeply believe in, but I have to make sacrifices somewhere. I keep processed foods to a minimum (so long as the ingredients list isn’t six miles long and one giant chemical) and we try to make a meal at least six nights a week. *sigh* I wish they would make it easier.
Yeah, it’s way easier because it’s just me, and I’m within walking distance of a farmer’s market. 😉 I try to be an advocate without evangelizing — people’s food choices are their own business, and I don’t know too many people anymore who don’t at least try not to eat garbage. But, as you pointed out, it’s not easy, especially on a budget or in a place where the best grocery store option is a Walmart.