“Our ability to discuss the value of food is a luxury; even on budgets, many of us are far from struggling to put food on the table. But along with the luxury to have that discussion comes the responsibility to do so. Not just talk about what kind of fruit goes best with an imported Manchego or our latest culinary adventures at a new restaurant, but talk about what building a sustainable food structure really looks like, both here and abroad.”
Anna Brones, over at the Huffington Post, on Why Caring About Food Isn’t an Option: It’s a Responsibility.
Election season is upon us, and there’s plenty going on besides the main event. Tom Philpott at Mother Jones takes a look at California’s Prop 37, which would require labeling foods that contain GMOs, and examines whether or not it has a chance of toppling Monstano if it passes.
If you’re looking for some lunchtime reading, here are two stories that present a top-to-bottom approach to the issues facing farmers and the food community right now: Tom Philpott considers why organically managed soils stand up better to the extreme weather conditions produced by climate change than their conventional counterparts, and The New York Times gives us a look at who decides what gets labeled as Certified Organic. Both serve as a good reminder of all that goes into what ends up in supermarkets and on the table— and that the process is rarely a simple one.
Food in the News
Organic poultry farms have fewer antibiotic resistant bacteria among the flock, lessening the chances that they will pass those pathogens on to human consumers.
Alice Waters, Nikki Henderson and Tom Philpott talk Slow Food, food justice and the diversification of the food movement. Nikki and Michael Pollan are co-teaching a course at UC Berkeley this fall as part of a program called Edible Education 101, organized by Alice to celebrate of Chez Panisse’s 40th anniversary.
Speaking of farmworkers and food justice: Tom Philpott has a great piece over on Mother Jones about the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen lists that have been circulating recently. Though they’re helpful for consumers trying to minimize pesticide exposure without breaking the bank on often-pricey organic produce, they don’t tell the whole story, particularly in terms of the health of those who cultivate and harvest industrial crops and who bear the brunt of our toxic pesticide cocktails’ combined effects.
So: if organic is too expensive and chemical is unconscionable, what to eat? If you have the space and time (both of which are, admittedly, too often a luxury) you can always grow your own! We’ll be back tomorrow with a post on how to cultivate tomatoes, particularly in the wet northeast, and some of the varieties we’ve found to be easiest to grow and tastiest to cook.