The Slightly Over Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

April 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm

We swore we’d get the Weekly Harvest done within a week, but then on Friday we, like a lot of people, got enraptured by the unfolding events in Watertown.  If you spent a lot of your spare time last week on the Marathon bombings and other non-eat local news, you missed some key articles.

For instance, sceptical of the value of organic foods, well, ask the fruit flies.  (Note, while we’re highly sympathetic to the results of middle school experiments that support our worldview, we also remember the brief fame of another student who supposedly found the math error that all climate change scientists reportedly missed–turns out they had not.)

Local Calendar savant, Jeannie B, has a great link on why your organic should also be local.

We firmly believe that supper clubs are a vital element to local eating.

Our hero, Bittman, previews the new book from another hero, Pollan.  He sums up Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation in a few sentences, “When you cook, you choose the ingredients: “And you’re going to use higher-quality ingredients than whoever’s making your home-meal replacement would ever use. You’re not going to use additives. So the quality of the food will automatically be better.”

Should we fear the “Food Police?”  We found this ostensible review that takes on the “elite that does not like what you eat.”  They have issues with organic food; concerns over GMOs, locavorism (vogueish!); fat taxes and soda bans; fixing school lunch programs, and problems with industrial agriculture.  A core element of the arguments, sadly appears to be “we’re being fed a bunch of lies by the left-wing “holier than thou art” foodie elite who think they know exactly what we should grow, cook and eat.”  We understand that people can disagree on fundamental political questions, but it’s a real disservice to the good food movement to dismiss it this way.

And on cue, someone takes a lash to the backlash.  In this case, Sarah Elton, with a brand new book called Consumed: Sustainable Food for a Finite Planet.  A review note how she battles critics of eating local:

Elton’s answer, though, amounts to an ardent re-articulation of the best of the best that is out there. She chronicles individual cases of small-scale organic agriculture successes around the world that manage to preserve bio-diversity and sustainability, then relates them to existing scholarly agricultural research. The book is designed to make it more difficult for the vocal critics of local food to seize on some of the weaker aspects of locavorism, such as the notoriously easily-critiqued “food miles” that were easily thrown into question for failing to take into account any environmental factors other than distance.

Emily gave us her re-cap of the April Chicago Food Swap here.  Another swapping report from the sustainablyqueer blog can be found here.