Tag Archives: local

Lessons from Food Inc.

8 Sep

Recently the Woodbine Farmers’ Market sponsored a Movie in the Garden featuring the documentary Food Inc. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly encourage you to do so. For a GREAT synopsis of the movie, you can read one here on the blogsite Not Without Salt.

Food, Inc. “lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.” (www.foodincmovie.com) It does so in a way that is honest and not intended purely for shock value but to inform and educate the often misguided and undereducated consumer.

Instead of being left with a feeling of dispair, the film does a great job at ending with hope and ways to help combat the current food crisis. Here are the final quotes from the movie:

The irony is that the average consumer does not feel very powerful. They feel they are the recipients of what the industry has put out there for them to consume. And the reality is, it is the exact opposite. When we run an item across the super market scanner we are voting for local or not, organic or not. Individual consumers  can and have changed the some of the biggest companies based on their preference. To eat healthy in this country is more expensive then eating badly and it will take more time and more money to make the change on a policy level so that the carrots are a better deal than a bag of chips. People think these companies are so big and so powerful and feel they will never change them. Look at the tobacco industry, it had huge control of public policy, and that control was broken. The battle over tobacco is the perfect model of how an industry’s irresponsible behavior can be changed. You have to understand that we farmers have to deliver to the market what the market place demands. If you want to buy $2 milk you are going to get a feed lot in your back yard, it’s that simple.

  • You can vote to change the system THREE TIMES A DAY
  • When you go to the supermarket, buy foods that are LOCAL, IN SEASON, AND ORGANIC
  • Know what’s in your food, READ LABELS
  • The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to the supermarket, BUY FOODS THAT ARE LOCALLY GROWN
  • Ask your school to provide your kids with HEALTHY LUNCHES

The Truth Behind Eggs

22 Aug

It’s easy to feel like you, a lone citizen, have no control over things  that happen in our country. Take our dependency on oil for example- what are you suppose to do, not drive your car anymore? It often feels like one person cannot make a difference, so things just stay the same.  As I have watched and read the array of articles about the salmonella outbreak this week, the same feeling comes over me. What can I do to stop this?  The beauty of food related problems is that we have much more power than we think. As the consumer, each of us have the power to make a decision daily about where our food comes from and how that effects the industry. Demanding that we have lots of cheap eggs allows for the production of eggs to look like a concentration camp with several chickens sharing a tiny cage and thus being susceptible to diseases like salmonella. Dr. Marion Nestle of the department of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, and the author of “Food Politics” and “What to Eat”, is a member of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. She toured several factory farms last year.”It’s hard to explain unless you actually see one of these places,” she tells CBS News. “Try to imagine an enormous warehouse, as long as two or more city blocks, packed with hundreds of thousands of chickens. And that’s ‘free range.’ Otherwise they are caged six to nine in a cage. If one gets sick, they all get sick.”

If you are able and willing, (not for children) check out this video below on how commercial egg farms are really run.

Every week you have the opportunity to shop at small local farms that have a true passion for what they are doing and treat their animals humanly. They are a farm, not a factory. Join the movement. Shop local. Know your farmer.

Check out our local meat farmers to see their values http://www.westwindfarms.com/t-about.aspx or http://peacefulpastures.com/

Eat Fresh!

19 Aug

Last week a regular Farmers’ Market customer was sharing with me that she’d better get a bread box for the bread she bought every week. “If I don’t eat the bread quick enough, it gets moldy by the end of the week.” It reminded me of a constant issue in my house, throwing away produce because I didn’t cook it in time- something that drives my husband crazy! I realized that there is a big learning curve for those of us making the change from processed foods to fresh foods. Most items that you buy from the grocery store are packed with preservatives, which is why a loaf of bread can last you about a month. (If you want to read more about the dangers of chemical preservatives you can click here) This is a challenge and a shift in thinking to someone who starts shopping local. They want to be able to keep their fruits and veggies for a couple weeks in the fridge, and if you’re like me you realize after a week that you will be throwing some things out. Fresh, local food is really fresh, and typically has been harvested the morning of the Market. It doesn’t need to have a “shelf life”. That is what makes the food from the Farmers’ Market so delicious! The pies, tarts, pastries and breads are also made without preservatives and need to be consumed probably within 3-4 days. I am still learning how to actually make this work, and it’s a constant reminder of how disconnected from fresh food I really am. Let us embrace our access to local food and enjoy the freshness!

How do you keep from throwing away unused rotten produce every week? Is it best to go to the Market with a plan for what you will be cooking that week? (From South Nashville Life)

12th South Concert Series

13 Aug

Looking for something to do this weekend? Hit up the first concert of the 12th South Concert Series at Sevier Park. The Woodbine Farmers’ Market will be there with our booth to help spread the word of our Market.  We will be doing another $40 Market Bucks drawing and be giving out 100 free totes to those who come by to say hello first.

This Saturday at 6pm the line up includes:

  • 6 PM – Sleepless Truckers
  • 7 PM – Troy Brooks & Friends
  • 8 PM – Jack Silverman Ordeal

You can even order ahead and pick up a boxed dinner for $8 from restaurants like Rumors, Burger Up, the Blind Pig, 12th South Tap Room, Frothy Monkey and Green Light Market and Deli. Join the movement – shop local, do local, be local.

Seasonal Eating

11 Aug

Several people have asked me lately- “Where’s the kiwi?” or “What about avocado’s?” or “Do you have any exotic fruits like the dragon fruit?” Instead you may see tomatoes week after week, or blackberries one week, but not the next. This is because at the Woodbine Farmers’ Market all of our produce is local and seasonal. In America, we have become used to eating just about anything we are in the mood for without thinking about where our food comes from. To decide to eat local means changing our mindset to think seasonal. Our grandparents would know exactly what we were talking about. You ate what was growing in your back yard and you canned in the summer to have fresh veggies in the winter when the garden was bare. This is exactly what we encourage at our Market. It stretches us to cook with food that we may not have otherwise chosen, it allows us to get creative when preparing dinner, and most importantly it helps us understand the cycle of the seasons. Eating seasonally means enjoying the ripest, freshest, and most nutritious food at the height of its natural harvest time and  eagerly anticipating their return to market from year to year. Check out this great seasonality chart to find out more about what is in season right now, and what is starting to crop up. (Pun intended).

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