Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm turning into a foodie blog

Still eating the frittata from Sunday. Will go to the farmers market this afternoon after work. I think I'll be able to buy more as the cupboards are getting bare. Non-fruit and veggie eating husband is getting nervous and experiencing signs of withdrawal as the level of processed foods coming into the house has flatlined. He may slowly starve unless he changes his eating habits. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, good article in this month's Mother Jones about Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm. I would love to visit that someday. And this interview with Peter Singer (vegan philosopher) that basically slams Joel Salatin and says local food is a lot of hype. One thing that made me laugh about the Peter Singer interview is his view on raising chickens. Salatin has a system where he rotates pastures, and after cows are moved from a piece of land, he brings in the chickens in giant portable fenced enclosures to pick through what the cows left behind. I think they are like modified hoop houses. Anyway, Singer even thinks that this is cruel. Why cage them at all? Apparently there is some kind of total disconnect where this man is not aware that there are such things as predators that will kill and eat chickens if they can get to them. One thing that irritates me about people and their attitude about farming is the belief that all farms should be these bucolic paradises where all animals are treated as pets and everything is just sunshiney and perfect. That isn't reality, and while I don't agree with factory farming or large scale animal production, I also realize that the bottom line is farmers have to make money. Would it be nice if all egg production was managed by little old ladies in calico dresses with flocks of chickens following them around? Of course, but that isn't realistic and while I don't approve of vast chicken facilities where they are caged and debeaked and feet removed, I don't mind places like my neighbors, with 4,000 broilers in two enormous chicken houses. The doors are open in good weather, they get fresh air, they run around on a cement floor covered with litter. Ideal life? No, but then who's is? Don't discount a local farm because it doesn't fit your Disneyfied version of what a farm should be.

And here is a shot of my Stock, probably the best smelling flower in the entire world. When I water it, I jam my whole head down in there and inhale as deeply as possible.


Blogger Liz said...

Nothing wrong with going foodie on us... it's happening to me, and all this food talk can really occupy my brain. There was also an interview in Salon w/Peter Singer that I need to digest. And I totally heart Michael Pollan... I'm reading his new book now.

We'll get that husband of yours to eat vegetables and fruit by the end of the summer for sure! (I'm still thinking about a food memory... I'll get back to you)

5:49 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I heart Pollan too. Singer...I'm not so sure about. I can appreciate some of his ideas but some of them just aren't realistic for this day and age. I hope husband will start eating better. I just don't see how he can rule out entire food groups. Especially with the garden and fruit trees. It's just weird.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Judith said...

I am going to have to start eating too. I just visited Lesley at Dreams & Bones & she too is taking up the local food challenge. Hype or not regarding local food--it is the best thing to come along in ages--it covers so much--I live where the small farmer is disappearing--with local food challenge happening it has opened many eyes (& mouths) to what is growing around them that is edible & necessary...yes, lots to digest with this & it is making me hungry. Thanks for such a great post!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Judith said...

PS Love your Stock flowers!!! One of my favorites.

10:55 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Yay Judith. At least try it out. I imagine that, even if you can't do the 100 mile radius thing, there are lots of small farms and specialty foods all over New England. I bet you could find really great artisan cheeses. I wish we had those here. I haven't found any yet.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

It's possible that Singer is a total wacko. I have trouble understanding the notion that a vegan diet can be sustainable... animals make for a healthy part of any farm ecosystem.

Anyway. Food memories. Gooseberries right off the vine (shrub?) at my grandparent's farm. Corn on the cob that had just been picked. Catching a bushel of blueclaws & gorging ourselves silly on crabmeat with butter and Bass ale. Smoked whiting right out of the smokehouse.

2:08 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Mmmmmm...Blue crabs and beer. And fresh corn, that is always awesome. Esp. Silver Queen or Silver King. I've never had smoked whiting. Did your parents or grandparents do that or do you smoke your own fish?

9:52 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

There was a smokehouse in Point Pleansant, NJ and my dad would always stop there on the way home from our crabbing expeditions. I could never wait to get home before tearing into one of those fishes. Yum.

The only unusual thing my grandpa did was distill his own plum brandy. That stuff could definitely put hair on one's chest. Yikes.

11:56 AM  

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