6″ x 6″ watercolor
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No, don’t worry, I’m not going to preach about the health benefits of running 100 miles to lose weight (I’m still working on finishing a 5k myself). This diet, unlike Atkins or South Beach, is most likely not on your radar. But first, let me preface the description with a little oration.
The commercial food industry has placed a vast distance between the origin of the food we eat and our plates. The greater that distance and disconnect, the less likely we are to be inquisitive about how corn is turned into Doritos. Since we trust food manufacturers’ production methods, as evidenced by an enormous majority of real estate in a grocery stores being occupied by processed foods, we end up naively believing “enriched ____” is a good thing.
Truth be told, food manufacturers want things this way so money-saving-corners can be cut and physically addictive “tastes” can be engineered in laboratories to make that “home-style” flavor prominent in your boxed dinner via a slew of ingredient you can’t pronounce.
Proactively becoming aware and engaged in reacting to this realization certainly takes time and effort. Although the imperative demand of our attention is inevitable if we hope for optimal health and an ablution of our insides from high-fructose corn syrup and synthetic hormones.
Eating foods separated from you by one minuscule degree, a farmer, is a foreign concept to many. I found a website, 100milediet.org, that takes this concept to the max: exclusively eating foods grown within a 100 mile radius of your home. The website states that,
“When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically traveled at least 1,500 milesâ€”call it ‘the SUV diet.'”
Clearly, this also has tremendous environmental implications as well. That’s a high CO2 price tag (not to mention a high $ price tag) to bring your out-of-season berries from down south.
Farmers markets are an excellent way to reestablish what “food” truly means, support local growers, and encourage environmentally sustainable agriculture and business practices. Your kids will also likely develop an interest in what they eat and prefer playing in the dirt from their own mini vegetable garden to digging wash-off tattoos out of frosty-o’s cereal boxes.
Here are some resources to get started:
- The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service offers a comprehensive PDF list of farmers markets by city and state.
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a Year of Food Life
Locally for Louisvillans:
- A list of farmers markets in the city, and throughout the state
- The Food Literacy Project at Oxmoor Farm
- Rainbow Blossom has just announced they will be holding a farmer market at their St Matthews store location on Sundays