Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thoughts on Local Food and the Food Safety Bill

Since the weather is perfect this weekend, lots of non-resident taxpayers are around. I saw them at PB Boulangerie Bistro yesterday, when I stopped in for bread. The air was redolent with the sensuous aroma of apple tart and almond croissants, fresh from Boris’s gigantic imported oven. I stood there and waited ten minutes, the time required for the tourists in line to make up their mind, enough time for a cloud of sweetness to descend and follow me back outside, baguette in hand. My hair still smelled tantalizing by the time I reached Wellfleet Marketplace. I wanted to pick up some beef raised in Truro for a beef stew, but it was all sold out. There wasn’t even any stewing beef in the freezer. I could have bought ground beef, but I’m not too crazy about pre-ground, even when it's from a Truro farm, so we had quiche instead. Still, I want to salute the Marketplace for stocking more local food. There’s talk that Preservation Hall will house a farmer’s market or an organic veggies and fruit co-op in its basement, which would be a marvelous addition for year-round residents. I have a friend who keeps repeating, “We are what we eat,” and I remember her words whenever I go shopping with my canvas tote and basket. There's an obesity epidemic in the USA, and I believe it is, in part, due to all the high fructose corn syrup pumped into everything.

The Food Safety bill may reach Congress shortly. It is extremely complicated. From what I understand, small farmers will be in jeopardy if the bill passes without sensible amendments to protect them. Remember all those factory eggs that were recalled two months ago? The mega producer merely received a slap on the wrist, as did the bankers who created the worldwide mess with their credit default swaps. From recent raw milk raids, I have realized the FDA is pro-BigAg and no longer feels the obligation to pretend otherwise. We need our small farmers and local food more than ever. Please take a moment to read this post by a food blogger in the know and educate yourself on this important issue. We are what we eat …

Does your town have local food options? Has your awareness of food and nutrition changed of late? Do you think genetically modified food should be labeled?