Locally Grown


A (re)Beginning Is A Delicate Thing
2012/02/01, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Local Food Commentary | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dearest Tens,
…the Greater Known Universe plays host to the planet Earth which, for a very short portion of its existence, has played host to a race of creatures known as humans.  During their short lived (and current) stay on this blue-green marble humans have had an ever-evolving diet first consisting of plant things found within their immediate suroundings, then after the invention of the Barbecue Grill (aka fire) craftier bipeds found ways of spearing, snaring, or otherwise killing other living creatures for which to share the heat of the barbecue, albeit in much closer proximity than the hunters themselves.  These were simpler times, with the mortality of these humans mainly dictated by the surrounding environment.

Then one day, many thousands and thousands of days ago, a few humans thought to themselves “there must be a way to live in one place, yet still manage to feed our people.” This is the day that the concept of agriculture was born.  Agriculture would prove to be one of the most powerful forces in developing the various cultures and cuisines of the humans around the Marble.  Our ancestral upright walking/thinking organism worked their respective lands growing the crops supported by local climates and dined upon a constant regional cuisine

As time drew forth some of the humans saw much more in agriculture than just feeding one another…they saw that it could be a BIG BUSINESS.  More land, more workers, more food (for the wealthy classes), more profit, more greed all followed.  First there were those that worked the lands of the powerfull, then the industrial age came and paved the road to where we are now. 

The current year relative to time known by we, the people is two thousand no hundreds and twelve.  The current state of agriculture is that of power, money, pollution,  corruption, lobbyists, politics, and laws made by giant companies which are designed to strip the small farmer of their rights to work the land if they raise but a word against the powers that be.  BUT on the other hand the dining community has been trying to move towards a diet of locally raised produce, humanely treated livestock…a diet free of the chemicals and genetically modified dna fund in the products of Big Agriculture.  People are trying to move back to the beginnigg, when things were simple, where every single meal was a “100 mile” meal, and where you either raised your food yourself or you knew the farmer that did.  Big Ag doesn’t like this insolence. 

People, Big Ag has been trying to kill you for your entire life.  Maybe this isn’t the intended outcome of their greed, but you can can look at the state of world health versus the “advancements” in agriculture over recent history and see that as agriculture advances (and more chemical laden, cheap, processed foods are made available), the state of human health slowly declines (cancer, obesity, more cancer, more obesity). 

It makes this cook think hard about what the world would be like today if agriculture had remained as it was, a way of subsisiting off the land instead of a huge money business. 

What would a world without clothing, restaurants, late-breaking news items, or blogs hyping “locally grown” foods be like?

I suppose if everything was local, this blog would just be called “Grown” to avoid redundancy (like we ever avoid THAT).

Or maybe just “Groan.”

The Cook.

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The Truth Comes Out

My Dearest Tens,

This week’s newfound return to the LG blogisphere has yielded an interesting development: You aren’t nearly as interested in reading about Agriculture here as you are witnessing my tirades towards food critics, food bloggers, and dim-witted diners.  The numbers don’t lie, and lucky for you I have a forthcoming opportunity to write about sustainable dining on another furum, freeing the “LG Brand” up for more constant crappy commentary and policing of those in the dining community whom need policed.  To this end I thank you.  Coming back to this blog was not easy, and there was consideration given to tranforming into a voice for positive change in local, sustainable food.  This would have been a giant work load involving interviewing, research, and late nights making sure that every word is just just right, so as to most effectively pass the point of each post. 

Thank you for not making me do that here (I will let you whom want to read my writings on those subjects know where to read said articles once we get started).

Yesterday while I was sitting at one of my favorite wifi spots having a liquid lunch and writing about farmers, I spied the mighty (thin) Des Moines Register, home of our favorite critical Francophile.  You may recall that the LG posts of the prior two days dealt with the DD and her narrowly waving Magic Food Scene Judgement Wand passing um…judgement on the kitchens of Our Fair City and their inability to serve any desserts which aren’t cheesecake or “chocolate fall -down cake,”  which I took to mean that lovely “worn out” dessert the Chocolate Lava Cake. 

The front page of the Living section, or whatever it is called, has a feature on desserts…and what is dessert #2 of the feature?  CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE FROM ALBA.  AND IT IS BEING CAST IN A FAVORABLE LIGHT.  Wait, what?  How can this be?  Have Jason and his team at Alba (who are all awesome, btw) somehow ressurected what was earlier in the week deemed one of the two most boring and tired desserts in all of MetroLand? 

And

on the third day the lava cake arose from its tired tomb to bring forth new light unto post-dining patrons.

.

.

OR has this other food writer started a war with the DD, and I remember the last time a register food writer crossed her.  This could get ugly…

More later.  My WP app is making this a very unpleasant experience.

Thank you again, tens, for showing me what you REALLY want to read about. 

The cook.

(Please excuse any formatting problems, WordPress of Android app can suck it.)



Who Are Your Heroes? Mine Are Farmers.

Hero: he·ro/ˈhi(ə)rō/, noun:

  1. A person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.
  2. One who saves lives

 

Our society is based on a “hero mentality,” with us commoners daydreaming about those who would be there to save us from whatever evils would befall us.  There are movie and comic-book (sorry, graphic novel) based super heroes with otherworldly powers saving puny humans from natural disasters, historical bad guys, and other super people whom have chosen to live a life of utter evil.  There are every day heroes like doctors and nurses and the mortal humans whom keep you healthy and safe.  There are even celebrity heroes such as Steven Tyler, whom work diligently to save you from having to listen to the wrong singing talent on your television.  Thanks, ST.  These heroes all serve their purpose in life, from stopping your gaping bleeding wounds, to saving your sanity, to keeping your house from burning to the ground, to just simply giving you hope that giant flying magnetically charged creatures from another dimension will not be descending upon your city to devour or enslave its population.

Larry Cleverley of Cleverley Farms in Mingo, Iowa watching the sun set over the farm. Larry is a real hero.

But who are the real heroes of our lives?  The people raising the food you (should) be eating.  There is really no more noble, humble, or courageous a profession than to be a farmer.  A real farmer, someone concerned with the well-being of not their bank accounts or the happiness of corporate overlords, but with the health of the land they farm and the people being fed from that land, and of the welfare of the community surrounding their farm.

Does this make you hungry?

My hero’s a farmer.  A real farmer.  A person whom I can talk to, have a conversation about what they are raising, and not be given the run-around due to someone above them putting restrictions on what they can or can’t say about their operation.  I see these people as the real heroes of our world, sustainable raising nourishing items that can feed our population…without creating more health-realated problems.  The farmers who understand what to do with the food they raise, the ones whom can teach cooks or chefs what to do with their wares, the farmers that spend their lives feeding you FROM THE HEART, making sacrifices, getting out to the markets to sell to and meet produce/meat buyers face to face.  THIS is a real hero.  People like this guy:

Because THIS is what makes me hungry.

Today’s rant isn’t supposed to be some wildly informative treatise on local sustainable farming/food, but just to get you in that mindset.  Spring is around the corner and we will be talking more in the near future about ways to enrich your lives through these heroes of agriculture.

I hope that you are as excited as we are…

The cook.