Thursday, June 12, 2008

Organic or local in 2006

I am a self confessed hoarder. I hoard magazines. I have issues of Architectural Digest dating back to the 80's. I have back issues of Martha Stewart Living, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Eating Well, to name a few, that fill bookcases in my basement. I rationalize that they hold valuable information that I will someday be happy to have at my fingertips. As each season begins, I enjoy comparing the offerings of the same season in past years.

So as summer approaches, I was browsing past summer issues and found an issue of Food and Wine from August 2006 The front cover invites us to read:

Purely Delicious: How To Be An Eco-Epicurean
Chef's Healthiest Recipes
Lessons From A Green Kitchen
Wines: The Next Eco-Trend

I checked the date again...yep, 2006. This could easily be on sale at the magazine stand today!

And it would seem that in the two years that have elapsed since this issue was published, the debate over what "eating well" really means has not shown any signs of resolution. In this issue, Jane Black interviews Michael Pollen who had just written The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. His book examines the "cornucopia of choices that render eating intelligently and healthfully a perplexing daily task."

Michael confirms what we still struggle with today. We can buy imported meat and vegetables that are organic, but what does that mean in terms of eco-friendly living if we buy food that has been shipped thosands of miles to get to our shelves? Changing the way we eat and shop is still as overwhelming as it was two years ago...have we not been able to progress at all?

Reassuringly, Michael tells us, "You can vote with your fork three times a day. You may not cast every vote in the best possible way....but if you do one right - if you get organic instead of conventional or local instead of organic - you are taking a big step."

Even though these words were published two years ago, and even though we might wish we had progressed more than we have, perhaps we should take comfort in the opportunity we have each day to move a step in right direction and recommit to doing just that. Thanks, Michael!

I knew my stash of magazines would be useful!

No comments: