Friday, April 15, 2016

Of Food and Men...

I've spoken about food before; food allergies, recipes, growing food (I will be uploading pictures of our garden as it develops).  Today I'd like to talk about the people who don't realize where their food comes from and the poor who live in a food desert.

Food is such an interesting topic.  I have had a couple of conversations this week where I referred  back to Michael Pollan's book: In Defense of Food.  It's a very interesting book, with lots of references and it basically talks about how the Western diet isn't really that healthy (probably not a huge shocker).  Many of the things we've been told about low fat, low cholesterol foods doesn't really equate to good health.  Real butter, real cream and gelato may actually be better for us than their low fat alternatives.  His book is a good read and it discusses how the basics- meat, produce and dairy are really pretty healthy for us and it's the processed and synthetic foods we have to look out for.  There's actually a lot of information out there that women and men who have fertility issues could be dietary related to LOW fat foods.  The reason being is fat is a precursor for a lot of our hormones and is necessary as a building block.  When we remove fat from foods and replace it with a filler, or something to improve palatability you are actually making it less healthy.   You may disagree with some of the above, you can't disagree with the fact that fat tastes good!

I've also noticed from what he wrote, but more importantly from my conversations with others, how people really don't understand where our food comes from.  Our food actually comes from gardens and animals.  Yes, that latter part you may not want to think about, lest you become a vegetarian.  It's the truth though.  Farmers and our forefathers lived with this fact long before our major grocery stores were around.  Many people think meat comes from cellophane factories where it grows under growth lamps.  Check out this article: Woman tells farmer to buy meat from Whole Foods, not use his cow.  It is an interesting story that hopefully is not a commentary on what our society thinks.  She is actually protesting a farmer using his own cow to feed his family and that he should  "go to Whole Foods and buy antibiotic free meat there" instead.  I don't need to provide a commentary on the dichotomy there, do I?

On another note.  Have you heard of the Arabbers?  In Baltimore, they are a historic part of the city that is endangered.  As many people left Baltimore post-World War II, they became a predominantly African-American group of horsemen who went about cities in the East Coast and particularly Baltimore, selling fruit and vegetables to people who had limited access to these fresh products.  The Arabbers have had people trying to run them out of town on various charges, including neglect of the animals.  Even the State's expert witness, a veterinarian, said there was no evidence of abuse or neglect, but these people who bring an important and relatively unknown service to some very poor areas in Baltimore may be run out of town for developers to come in.  I would love to write more about this issue, as I find it intriguing and not something many people are aware of.  Besides, their service, as well as community gardens, are important for all classes, rich and poor, to have access to.  Please read more if you are interested and as time allows, I may do more research into their cause as well.

Read more by clicking on these links:

Photo from Baltimore Sun

Plight of the Arabbers

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