Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scouting local food

I took some leftover soup from last night to work for lunch today, but forgot the asiago cheese to sprinkle on the top. I had some time, so I took a break and went down the street to the Earthfare to pick some up. Earthfare has promoted the idea of local foods, so I was interested to see what they might have that I could use for my Dark Days Challenge/ SOLE dinner. Outside the store, they advertise a farmers market on Sunday afternoons – I look forward to checking that out since the county market is closed for the season. Interestingly, they had fewer fruits and vegetables labeled as being locally grown than the Harris Teeter where I normally shop. Harris Teeter has locally grown greens, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant and sweet potatoes. Earthfare had heirloom tomatoes. But, the meat counter was a different story… Earthfare has locally raised rib eyes and ground beef! Great find, and not just for the Challenge – ever since I read the NY Times story about the devastating effects of flawed beef inspections, grocery store ground beef freaks me out (not that I would EVER buy ground beef or anything else for that matter at Sam’s or Wal-mart). But then I started thinking about what the E in SOLE was really about. My first thought was that each person has to decide for herself what “ethical” food is. Immediately recognizing that this line of thought could quickly veer into my own personal philosophical debate about ethical relativism (and not wanting to go there), I tried again. If I planned to blog about this to a community of other Dark Days Challlengers, how was that group going to define “ethical”? Would I be ostracized by all (as opposed to just some) for cooking Elsie? Ultimately, I decided that if my hamburger had had a happy life prior to being ground up – as opposed to being penned in and pumped full of crap, that’s good enough for me. Maybe the kids and I can ride out to the farm and take pictures of the happy cows.


Wendy said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. You can be an omnivore and still eat ethically. I don't eat veal because of how the calves are raised - just doesn't seem ethical - - but a free range chicken - no problem.

JGH said...

I just saw the documentary "Food Inc" - now I'm even more reluctant to buy meat in the grocery store. Especially from the giants like Cargill, Smithfield and Tyson. And I find myself looking for the "cage free" "grass fed" and "free range" labels more often now. It would be better to just cook less meat - we really gotta work on that!

the mommy porch said...

Eating less meat is much easier said than done! I really want my kids to have protein in the morning before school. They are not going to eat eggs every day, and only one of the will eat yogurt, so they get pork fat on a lot of mornings. And when pork is cooking in your kitchen, it is hard to resist! I make their lunches every day and I have managed to make a few a week that are no meat: bagels and cream cheese, cheese tortellini with pesto in a thermos, and good old PB and marshmallow on wheat. Dinners are tough though!