...One problem is we don't always know where food is from. I have proposed a bill to include "Food Miles" on the labels of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also ask your grocer, and let them know you care about such things. By reducing how far our food has traveled we can cut our energy impact while we help the local economy.
Linking What We Grow with What We Eat
When I talk to farmers in Central New York about the prospects of selling more of their products to consumers downstate, many tell me how hard it is to break into these markets....New York's customers want fresh, locally produced foods. Upstate New York has the ability to supply these products. Together we can improve our economy, our health and our environment and create a better link between what we grow and what we eat.
Valesky's district is the 49th covering Madison Country, and bits of Onondaga County (including the city of Syracuse and some of its eastern suburbs) and some of eastern Cayuga County. It's an odd map but when I look carefully I note that many of the farms that supply the food I eat are in this district. So finally, I feel that I can write a letter of encouragement to one of our legislators.
It would be an amazing thing for New York to take some leadership on putting food miles on our food--it may even nudge the national Country of Origin Labeling legislation a bit further. I'll also want to support his efforts to expand our markets to consumers downstate but with one huge caveat. I'm all food my family in Brooklyn and Staten Island partaking of Central New York's bounty, but not if I can't get to it too. I find it more than a little frustrating that some of the best stuff leaves our area for NYC markets only. I shouldn't have to go to the lower east side to get Evans Farmhouse Creamery butter. Clearly, there are distribution issues I don't fully understand and I guess I'm lucky that if I really want that butter I can go directly to the farm--but let's not send all the good stuff away--we upstaters enjoy it too.
That aside, it is great to see Valesky tracking on these issues--let's hope his colleagues get on board too.
Yes, it's a busy time of year. And, yes, you probably have a few other things to do this Saturday. But you wouldn't want to miss the chance to eat delicious, locally grown food on an organic farm would you? Megan and Brian of Stones Throw Farm are hosting the next Syracuse area Eat Local Potluck and you'll want to squeeze in a few minutes to drop by. Megan says:
We just wanted to invite you all to the "December Eat Local
Potluck" at our place...We really hope you can make it, even just for a little
while! This time of year can be so busy--please stop by to share in some
CNY food and NYS wine and celebrate the season with us!
The dinner will be next Saturday 12/22 at 6 p.m. at our house
(3540 Makyes Road, Nedrow, 13120). "Mapquest" usually provides good
directions to get you down to our farm efficiently. We are just off
Onondaga Hill, about 15 minutes from the city.
Also, please just drop us a quick note if you are planning to attend and
feel free to invite anyone else you think may be interested.
Hope to see you next weekend,
Megan and Brian
You can get Megan and Brian's email address and phone number by going to their website here.
It isn't that the hot dog did me in. I've been wanting to make this shift for a long time and have only now found the inspiration that is in tune with my life as I live it now. I had heard of Heidi Swanson's book, Super Natural Cooking since before it was published. I've been a long-time fan of her blogs, 101 Cookbooks and Mighty Foods. But after meeting her at the post-Alice Waters/Calvin Trillin talk at the San Francisco Civic Center back in October, it was clear to me that I had to try her latest cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. Heidi immediately seemed like someone I could trust in the kitchen.
One of the byproducts of food blogging is a wonderful excuse to try all sorts of new and exciting foods but I've noticed that my diet has become richer and it hasn't helped my waistline. As I contemplated striking a balance between vegetarianism and my current love for grass-fed oxtails, I figured that my diet could only be helped by eating more whole-grain foods.
So as the holiday season goes into high gear I've been taking shelter in the comfort of my kitchen. I've tried out Heidi's recipe for giant crusty and creamy white beans with greens (photo above--made with caramelized onions), her espresso banana muffins, and her famous mesquite chocolate chip cookies--alas, with out the mesquite flour. I guess this all sounds pretty decadent but it is also so healthy--I've got white whole-wheat flour back in my pantry, as well as big and beautiful Corona beans, whole-wheat pastry flour, and amaranth flour.
I look forward to working my way through this cookbook and making the changes in my diet that will allow me to continue to feast on Central New York's bounty while getting myself in better shape to run the Boilermaker 15K in July. It's a total win-win. Thanks Heidi!