Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Monday, February 20, 2012

Around the Corner, Down the Road

It hasn't been all fog and garbled words flowing from fingertips. Life moves forward and drags you along, despite your grumbling and protestations.

I have become acutely aware of our food. Where it comes from, what has been done to it, and how it is raised. This is not such a positive thing if one actually wants to continue to eat. Factory farms and the Monsanto-ization of America have made eating a hazardous business indeed.

Yet another Monsanto official heads a government agency as head of the FDA, no less. Another cog in the wheel of demolishing the efficacy of regulation. Such a simple idea: stack the deck of agencies designed to watch the hawks looking to eat the chickens, with the very hawks we chickens are scurrying from for our very lives. Beautiful in its simplicity, effective in its operation, destructive to our well-being.

As I not only want to continue eating, but as a matter of biology, must, I have turned to small sustainable farmers in my area for much of my food. I don't know why it took me so long to consider my options, but there you have it, I am sometimes slow. The important thing is, I finally got to where I needed to go. Elmbrink Farm has become a source for pasture raised heritage breed pork and the best eggs I have ever had. Ever. In late spring I will add free ranging chicken to the list of clean food coming from this nearby farm which abides by sustainable farming methods. People like the Brinkmans may be our only hope for survival in this chemical infused food marketplace. Perhaps this is hyperbole, but I don't think so.
To my amazement, there is an organic family owned dairy, Cedar Summit , with its own creamery a mere forty-five minutes from home. What is even better is, they sell their milk at a grocery store fifteen minutes from my doorstep, eliminating the weekly drive down to New Prague. I have not seen glass bottles of milk since I was a child and we had a milkman. The cream is incredible.
There is a meat locker in town which masquerades as a deli, but those of us who have been around here for a while know what it is behind the upscale facade it now wears. Grass fed beef from local famers is sold there, making it very close and simple to buy. I use limited amounts of beef, making this option a lucky chance for me.

To be frank, I cannot be entirely local, I live in Minnesota after all and I do like salad. Somehow, a constant of root vegetables and gourds does not appeal all that much! I use what I was able to freeze from my own garden and buy the rest.

This is my journey from Costco to local. It took a bit of effort, but the result has been beyond worth the energy to figure things out. One person does not make a dent in the food monolith that envelopes our ecology and our grocery shelves, but many persons making considered choices can nibble away at the destruction. And, oh my, the food is so good!

Wishing a good day to all, it is time to go to work for me.


  1. When the Hedgehog said Eat well and consider the sources I listen. It is the one important thing to stay healthy.

    We go to Costco for the "paper" needs and other necessary things, but food is always as organic as we can get it. We buy in some European markets here and I am still surprised when I buy for instance tomatoes' paste, and read the ingredients: tomatoes, salt and olive oil. When I used to teach I used to say: if you cannot pronounce it on the first try it doesn't belong in your mouth.

    I am so glad you are able to consider the sources. Monsanto is evil and those of a feather flock together. Always.

  2. We had a huge garden [for us] in this year & did very well out of it. Everything tastes soo much better & I know we've only used animal poop for fertilizer so no nasty surprises! Australia is lucky with food choices. We have very long growing seasons for just about everything.

  3. I know you know how blessed you are to have those options. Some locally* grown food is available here. I sure miss the good stuff back east. No fresh dairy in the desert unless you have your own cows.

    *Local = 50-100 miles away

  4. Allegra, I am doing as the hedgehog says. I also still use Costco for fill-ins. Monsanto is evil indeed.

  5. Ganeida, you are fortunate to live in such a paradise. I have loads & loads of that fertilizer!

  6. Cyndi, I am fortunate. New England has so many choices for local sourcing of food. Do you ever consider moving back?

  7. Well said! I no longer eat any meat at all unless I stumble onto grass fed organic on a menu somewhere. Fresh organic local greens are abundant here all year long. They are my mainstay along with eggs and smoked or wild caught salmon, and tofu. I think about where food comes from all the time. How we've come to eat so unhealthily in our country is beyond rational explanation.
    Your post would make a good op-ed piece in your local paper, I think.

  8. Denise, My husband was very encouraging when I started looking for small producers, as he knew the next step would have been a vegetarian diet, which he would have been very unhappy with!

    People who live in moderate climates are so fortunate to have fresh, local produce nearly year round.

  9. this issue is SO worth thinking about, tho' our restrictions on GMO here in denmark are much greater than in the US. but the way that mass-produced meat is raised is shocking. it's why we have our own hens for eggs and will at last get a few pigs come spring. i want to know where my food is coming from and what has been done to it before it comes to me. sometimes even organic doesn't mean that it's been treated especially well...

  10. Organic certainly has nothing to do with care. Either does 'cage free'. Those cage free chickens stand shoulder-to-shoulder in massive buildings without adequate ventilation.

    I am a coward, I am unable to raise my own livestock for food. I am grateful I have people available who do it right who are not cowards like me.

    The dairy has been a huge change.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.