Archive for the 'Local Food Economies' Category

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Kitchen Literacy – How We Became So Ignorant About Our Food

Kitchen Literacy Cover

Here’s a quick “heads up” to a book that looks like it provides a perfect compliment to what I wrote about recently in “The Local Food Economy and Health”  Part1, Part2 and Part 3.

It’s called “Kitchen Literacy – How We Lost Knowledge of Where Our Food Comes From and Why We Need To get It Back”

According to critics, the author Ann Vileisis, has researched and written a veritable treatise on the subject.

I acknowledge that I haven’t read the book myself, but, after researching and preparing this report, it’s definitely going on my list of books to read.

Reviews of Kitchen Literacy
You can find reviews from seven people on
Amazon.COM. The average rating there is 4.2-Stars out of a possible 5-Star Rating. Another independent reviewer reports her opinion CLICK HERE.

The following 4 minute VIDEO overview of Kitchen Literacy by author Ann Vileisis herself, gives a good sense of what it’s about.

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

The Local Food Economy and Health – Part 3 (of 3)

In Part 2 of The Local Food Economy and Health I raised the point of your being left with less and less choice over what you eat, as one of the consequences of getting caught up in the artificiality of the modern marketing “machine”. 

Are You Disconnected From Your Food Source?
Typical Supermarket IsleIf you have been brought up in the city environment, it’s easy for you to consider everything around you as a normal and natural part of life.

It’s not until you are forced out of that environment for the first time, that the true realities of life hits home.

If your only exposure to eggs where by seeing them come in cartons of twelve, how would you associate these with the rear end of a chicken?

Do the rows of rows of pint and liter cartons of milk in the refrigerated section of the supermarket give you any clue that the contents have issued forth from the udders of cows?

When a child grows up with his hero-sponsored box of multicolored breakfast cereal, how does he make the connection with anything natural? Artificial and plastic is a more likely association, don’t you think?

After all, if you’ve had no experience with country living or farms, and have known little else but packaged and processed foods from the supermarket, how would you be expected to?

There are many surveys that have been done on this subject and the results are quite startling. The following example was conducted by the Linking Environment And Farming (L.E.A.F) organization. The study showed that of 1,073 adults surveyed, 22% “did not know bacon and sausages originate from farms.”  This story, “What Would Old MacDonald Say?” was reported by the BBC News (June ’07).

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

The Local Food Economy and Health – Part 2

From reading Part 1 of this article, I hope you are starting to see why it is so important for your health to:

1. Know where your food comes from and what’s in it. 
2. Know how it is grown and processed.
3. Establish a personal relationship with the growers and suppliers of your food.

Regarding this, I am usually quite shocked at the frequency I see or hear various versions of the following:

“But that’s why we have government agencies
like the FDA,
isn’t it?  … to make food supplies safe?
… I don’t have to worry
’cause they’re taking care of all that for me”

If you know anyone who would agree with the above statement, just ask them to go to the Internet and Google the words, “FDA, corruption” and just browse a little. They’ll get the idea soon enough.

Supermarkets – A Double-Edged Sword of Modern Consumerism

Compared to traditional market places where farmers and produces come together to interact with you to sell their wares, Supermarkets are a different place altogether.

They are about as disconnected
from the original source of your food
as you can get.

You may not have thought about it much, but do you realize that when you enter one of these establishments you enter an artificial “world” specifically designed and created to “sell” ? In other words, ….. to entice and manipulate your mind.

{For an interesting read, check out the book We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind] ….. or simply do a Google Search, type in “supermarkets, mind manipulation” and browse (but not right before bed time, OK?).

The point here is simply as a reminder

In so many ways, we are constantly “dumbed down, cajoled and manipulated” down a path to buy more and more, the things we really do not need.  Ask yourself the question “Do I want to become an automaton in the immense consumerism machine?”

When our consciousness
is left at the front door of the supermarket,
then we are in “double trouble”.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

The Local Food Economy and Health – Part 1 (of 3)

The biotechnology industry (along with other multinational corporate food giants) are having a huge negative impact on the small farmer and local food systems globally.

If you are not yet clear on the ramifications, please watch the excellent 3-Part documentary I have posted within my Nov 30th post entitled 
Genetically Modified Foods – What You Should Know.

Towards the end of that article I suggested 7 things that you can do to help move things in a more positive direction. The main thrust of those suggestions centers around supporting local food growers.

Local_Farmers_MarketWhy Is It Important To Support
Local Food Growers?

I’ll be answering that question here by expanding on those 7 suggestions a bit more and connecting their relevance to better personal health, as well as that of the local economy.

If you are desirous of shifting your lifestyle and food choices towards more healthful ones, then ….

… one key thing you’ll want to know
is who is growing your food
and how much care do they put into it.

I want to use an old analogy for a moment.
If you chose just “any old oil” or fuel for your new car, the result would most likely include a drastic lack of performance and shortened life of the car …. AT BEST! ….. At worst, your engine could seize up totally. Likewise with your body. Get the picture? 

Of course, you already know that, but I am saying it anyway (it’s just that it’s so easy to overlook or just plain forget).