Monday, January 18, 2010

A Resource for Our Food Essentials

I am afraid that our food habits very well represent how far we have moved away from the essentials...we want everything that is out of season, necessitating great attention to the arts of preserving and requiring still further fabrication; and by this desire we also lessen the meaning of the seasons when they come in their natural sequence, bringing their treasure of materials that are adapted to the time and to the place. L.H. Bailey, The Holy Earth

Just this weekend in a produce section of Michigan grocery store I spied the displayed landslide of tomatoes. Tomatoes in Michigan isn't a great mystery but tomatoes in January? Only via Mexico. A lot of ground to travel for a tomato. Cucumbers? Yup, Mexico. I don't even want to get into bananas. What did people eat when items were out of season? Worse, how does one unravel the carbon footprint of boxed and packaged items? Is it just as bad to purchase wine from Australia? No answers yet to that one but here is one resource that can unravel some of the food mysteries: As their website explains, "There are three simple things everyone should know about their food but don't: Where did it come from? How was it made? What's in it?" You can learn not only the ingredients of a product but also its environmental impact. It also has an iPhone app for the more technological savvy. It's another way to get back to our "food essentials." Now about that Australian wine...

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