Gone fishin’!

Back next week with more home cookin’ and issues on the food front.

Will the real free-range egg (yolk) please stand up?

I’m a firm believer in buying farm fresh local eggs (and other ingredients): true pastured eggs – from chickens who eat what what they can find while out scratching around in a pasture – come from happy hens, are likely to be better for us, for the environment, and for the local food economy, and they just plain taste better. For more details, see my post on eggs at Simply: Home Cooking.

For a quick, fun visual summary of some of the arguments for pastured eggs, visit Big Wheel Provision’s video, Egg Cage Match!

Garden News

As the cucumber vines die back after producing like champs through the beginning of August, the long beans are just coming into their own, and we have 1 (count it, 1) bitter melon on the vine. We’ve had 2 small harvests of amaranth and Japanese spinach, and it looks like we might get one more batch from the amaranthdespite the heat. Bunching onions and Chinese chives are coming along, but I think the heat is definitely disagreeing with them. The biggest treat has been okra, which is producingĀ so that we might have enough for a dish every other week – I’ve never seen it growing before, and was amazed at how beautiful the flowers are! The tomatoes are coming in droves, but unfortunately most seem to have acquired a blossom-end rot (uneven water supply? damage during transplanting?). No matter – I’m madly harvesting, cutting out the ends, and cooking upĀ a batch of sauce as I type.

We have a few more months to go in the garden, and I’m thinking of planting fall garlic. And I’m definitely inspired to try again next year – with a new, improved, and expanded set of raised beds! Ready to double the number to four 3′ x 3′ beds and experiment with more vegetables…. I can see how gardening becomes an addiction.

Food Wars

It seems like food and food systems are quickly becoming the battle ground for a new war in America and beyond – even more so when the very language used to describe news in this field comes from the military world!

However, this video is still worth a serious viewing: The Battle for the World Food System: An Interview with Raj Patel

And in the spirit of building yourself an air-raid shelter for the 21st century: 5 tips for surviving a raid on your food buying club. While I don’t buy our dairy products from a buying club, I have found and participated in buying clubs for our seafood, olive oil, and even salt. I highly recommend seeking out buying clubs in your area – they are often an affordable way of purchasing food items that meet your requirements for being sustainable, organic, local, and ethical or those that may not be local but still offer a fair price to the producer and exceptional quality to you. The best way to find these clubs, unfortunately, seems to be a matter of luck – I’ve joined one through work and found others through “foodie” friends. Your local farmers’ market, Slow Food chapter, and food co-op are great places to start asking questions about your options.