Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Limiting the Food Chain
Submitted by: Michelle
Mario Batali, one of my favorite celebrity chefs, says "the most important step you will take in the creation of any meal is the first one, shopping. With the best products, it is much easier to prepare a perfect meal. With adequate products, it is easy to produce an adequate meal...if you know the person who picked your salad greens, or apples or herbs, or cut your meat, or caught your fish, you will have a meal that is significantly better than if you do not. Limiting the number of people in your own personal food chain is a way of maximizing and guaranteeing the quality of the products that find their way to your table. "
This past summer I found a way to limit the number of people in my food chain. I joined the Inland Empire Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
My friend Jennifer (a.k.a. Cubby) inspired me. She is a front row friend that I've know since college and a fellow gourmand. She loves food and cooking and eating as much as me and despite her living in Minnesota now, we still get together whenever she visits her family in California. During her summer visit we went to Mario Batali's restaurant in L.A., Mozza. While we dined on wood fired pizza and fried squash blossoms she told me about a CSA she had joined in Minnesota.
I was inspired to join a CSA of my own and was pleasantly surprised to find that there were 2 organic farms relatively near by that I could buy a "share" in. Now, every week, I pick up a box of freshly picked, organic produce at our local health food store. It is a great feeling knowing exactly where my food is coming from and supporting a local farm rather than a large grocery chain.
Being a member of the CSA has also saved me lots of money. Now, I plan my meals around what comes in my box each week and anything that I have a surplus of or do not like, I share with friends.
I like to think Mario would be proud of me...if he actually knew me.