Thursday, September 4, 2008

Locavores: Good Home Economics

Locavores: Good Home Economics

Like looking from the moon to the earth, it often takes a step back, observing others in a different perspective, to see the economic big picture. Life is indeed a voyage long and strange.
Freshly returned from a week in bucolic Vermont, I had an epiphany of sorts when I observed that nearly everyone eats organic, locally produced produce, meats, cheeses, local homemade creations, and clothing. It’s good to spend money locally to support the economy. And, honestly, I looked high and low for folks who were overweight. It was darned hard.

Everywhere I stepped, Locavores thrived. (Oxford American Dictionary ‘Word of the Year’, 2007). Don’t mistake me; these people are far from poor. I witnessed local businessmen and women, doctors, bankers, housewives, purchasing lovely second hand clothing at the local thrift shop. As one giggling 95 year old gal took a line from a Bogart movie,” We don’t need no stinkin’ over-priced, department stores.” They are a thrifty bunch of Blue Bloods, indeed. Also, recycling clothing is as standard to them as recycling left-over’s, cans, bottles, plastic, and McDonald wrappers that affront our glorious Blue Planet.

A Locavore is an enlightened culinary adventurer making an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius. As we’ve discussed before, local produce has been scientifically proven to contain more Universal nutrients and significantly less chemicals. If you mention the term GMO (Genetically modified) in Vermont, you’ll receive contemptuous glare.
Man cannot improve on the bounty that our Universe has unselfishly bestowed. If it’s from nature, let it nurture your mind, body, and your spiritual walk.

What makes this all successful without prices skyrocketing is local support. My brother and I spent one afternoon picking 12 pounds of blueberries off the vine; still warm from the afternoon sun. We saved 40 bucks and created an enduring memory communing with nature and beloved family. How special is that? Plant a Victory Garden for the future, or seek out U-Pick Em’ farms. Take the kids too so they discover where food originates. We picked and arranged them on sheet pans, placed them in freezer, and then stored them in zip-locks for the winter.

From what I read, affordable, local sustainable agriculture is the future. As energy cost increase, no longer will we be able to afford produce shipped from a source 2000 miles from home. Those products were picked before maturation; therefore contain less of the nutrients such as Folate and Selenium. Anytime you pluck food from the vine prematurely for monetary gain, nutrient content suffers. We’ have to eat three times the amount of produce today to get the same amount of nutrients we received 30 years ago from that same produce.

Mono-crop farming does not allow farmland to go fallow which regenerates the soil; the way God planned it. I come from a heritage of farmers and I’m certain our Grandparents would be saddened if they knew that today, fossil-fuel based fertilizers are used in Factory Farms to re-nourish the good earth. It goes against Nature to think costly prescription drugs are better than the act of pro-active whole foods prevention. Health is about our Celestial Apothecary, your garden, not liver stressing drugs.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was right on the ole’ button when in 400 BC proclaimed, “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
Sure beats the heck out of $50,000 heart surgery. Do I hear an Amen?

We can help ourselves to the earth, but don’t take too much. Dominion is subjective. The queen of England has dominion over her subjects, but she doesn’t eat them. I can't remember where I heard that.
Eat Right, Now!
Chef Wendell

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