Quote of the Day: A Conservative Case For Farmer's Markets


Image Credit Lloyd Alter

You have to wonder why anyone would have to title a post "A Conservative Case for Farmers' Markets", but Danielle Crittenden of the Frum Forum felt she had to make it.

The biggest remaining hurdle fresh food advocates face is the pervasive perception that to eat locally and healthily is somehow "elitist"--not to mention more costly and time-consuming than buying fast or processed meals. The minute you purchase an organic apple, you are suddenly lumped among NPR-listening, NYT's crossword-puzzle-doing, out-of-touch-with-the-common-man liberals. As a conservative--in the robust, Teddy Roosevelt tradition--I am perpetually gobsmacked to find myself on the side of the political fence with people who are enraged that Michelle Obama is trying to introduce healthy foods into public schools--or insist that the right to be obese and eat junk food can be found somewhere in the Constitution. When you think about it, these arguments against preparing meals from scratch are nonsense.

There are a number of members of my family who will punch me for quoting Danielle Crittenden, but she does make a couple of excellent points about how modern technology has changed storage of food and cooking so that it really isn't like our grandmothers used to do it:

We have reached maybe the perfect juncture of old and new: We have the technological abilities (read: modern refrigeration, appliances and online shopping) to achieve the maximum benefit--and enjoyment--from locally grown, fresh food....

So while it may seem easier to order in a pizza, or zap a pre-fab mini-meal in the microwave, it's not really so. How much extra effort does it really take to get together a bowl of salad (especially given that lettuces now come pre-mixed and pre-washed)? Or boil fresh beans and toss them with some salt, oil and lemon? Or, as I noted with the fish filet, dust it with some flour and seasoning and fry it or broil it for a minute or two? You can do the same with simple cuts of chicken and beef. Or put on a pot of pasta and in the space of time it's cooking whip up very simple homemade sauce. There's an app for that.

Then do the economics for dividing the costs of the fresh ingredients among three or four people--for most dishes I doubt it will come out to much more than a large take-out Domino's pizza.

More in Frum Forum
More on Farmers Markets
Farmers' Market Finder iPhone App Keeps You Rolling in Fresh Food : TreeHugger
5 Strategies for Getting the Most from Your Farmers' Market : TreeHugger

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