|Pen & Ink Drawing By Doug Ashby|
In the past few years I have also, like so many people these days, become a little concerned about where my food is coming from, and how it was produced. There are of course the various media outlets and journalists giving credence to this. Most notably, Michael Pollan, who's various books on the subject I have read, and whole cable channels devoted to cooking and sourcing the best food you can. Basicaslly it all came together for me and I have been doing my best to be more conciseness about what I put into my, and my families mouth.
This is definitely not as easy as you would think and there have been many moments where I felt like the whole thing was a big waste of time. However there are a few core things I believe I will always strive for with my food choices.
First and foremost I try and choose organic as much as possible and I want my meat to not have been raised with hormones and antibiotics. This is not an easy thing. While I am not a slave to the organic produce I tend to be with the antibiotics. Hopefully the government will soon ban the use. They have already taken a step in that direction with recommended guidelines. I do try and shop local when I can and I am lucky enough to have an excellent local farm that produces some of the best produce I have ever had. However they are not totally organic. But they are a family farm and they want their land to be useful for their children so their stewardship is a concern, and they are evoloving.
This is the crux of what I have drawn about here. The farm. I don't believe a farmer has to be totally organic to be a good steward of their land. The real key is to be a poly-culture. The real enemy in farming and food production is mono-culture. Fortunately this seems to be the lesson we learned form the so called green revolution of the post World War 2 era. Along with liberal use of chemical fertilizer mono culture farms are doing a job on our most precious resource. The soil.
As a teacher I encourage my really smart kids to consider a career in farming. Certainly the customers for better food will be there and certainly we as a society are heading towards a more local, and sustainable approach. I don't think that everyone needs to go back to farming like we all once lived, but doing what you can, like buying local and organic when possible helps. Truthfully I believe in the near future that will be almost half of what we find in our grocery stores. Then it all becomes real easy and widely available. More local farms will equal more ease for the consumer to acquire the goods at, yes, even a price chopper.
I could go on and on. But I wont. I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment, or email me. Also if you like the art don't forget to visit my download page and print one for yourself.