Strawberries in February?
It’s about supporting the local economy. You may or may not know how much I love oysters. Well, I do, and now is the time to be eating them. I can buy oysters from New England and support people who do the backbreaking work under difficult conditions and enjoy a fresh product that tastes of where it came from. Or I can buy Tomales Bay oysters from California (which are delicious). I have a choice.
It’s about national security. If we don’t support our local growers and producers and our precious farmland and dairyland disappear, we’ll be completely dependent on outside sources for our food. I worry already about how so much of our food comes from outside New England. What if, God forbid, a hurricane half the size of Katrina were to hit the Eastern seaboard, or worse, a military situation were to occur? How long would we be able to sustain ourselves without outside food sources? Heavy stuff, right?
It’s about ethics, too. For the last few decades, most of the beef in America has been raised under questionable circumstances. Cows are fed a diet made of mostly corn and other grains (again, this may not be the place to go into what else these harmless animals are fed). Cows by evolution aren’t designed to eat corn — it makes them sick — so they’re given drugs (and antibiotics to keep them alive while living in unsanitary conditions under close quarters). You don’t have to be an animal-rights activist to feel for those poor animals at that meat factory, or to understand that nothing good can come from a steak or burger from an animal that lived such a sorry life.
Vote With Your Fork
Here are some good books for more information:
A Year of Eating by Barbara Kingsolver
Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe
What to Eat by Marion Nestle
Botany of Desire, Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters
Read more of Annie’s Eating New England.