Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Manifesto

I love food. I love to cook. I live to eat. I am happiest when surrounded by friends and family who are eating something I have cooked (especially if they liked it!) Food is a joy to me, but lately the food scene is changing. Food has become political.

Do we buy locally, organically, seasonally or non-GMO? Do we pick food cost over distance traveled over the environment? What is the true cost of our apple or a pint of milk? How we eat has begun to define who we are. I don't think that these changes in mindset are a negative thing, quite the opposite. As a nation we need to be aware of the true cost of what we are eating. How do we balance all of these factors and still feel good when sitting down to a dinner? I feel, that among all of the politics, the joy of eating, cooking and sharing meals with friends gets lost.

Here in Portland, produce from the farmer's market is now a status symbol, as are the reusable bags from the local New Seasons Market. The thought behind these is wonderful, but who are we excluding? Not everyone has the means or the time to ponder these factors while trying to feed their families.

Seven years ago, I thought up my writing alter-ego Farmer Jo. I approached the idea of eating cheaply (and eating well) by eating seasonly, on I wrote monthly articles focusing on seasonal produce that I found on sale in the grocery stores or overflowing my neighbor's gardens. Although I am no longer a young cubicle dweller struggling to get by, I still search out the best ways to eat seasonly to keep my food bill in check. I stopped writing when life got too busy, then I returned to school to become a teacher. I found a job I love and a man I love. I recently got married to that fabulous man, got a house and a pug, named Doug. Over the years as I grew up so has my love of cooking, gardening and eating.

I seek to share my love of cooking and eating with anyone who will listen. I believe we can we take care of ourselves, the Earth and even the farmer by trying to eat in season. The focus here will be on food in season, inexpensive basics, and the interesting nibbles that make life tasty. I believe we can eat well while keeping our budget and conscience happy. Food should feed the soul not stress us out.

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