Where is the tipping point? How many more articles, recalls or cautionary bands do we need to suffer? Just yesterday, the NYTimes had another disturbing report regarding tainted foods coming out of China.
I am not so naïve that I believe it is happening only overseas we have to re-figure the path the majority of our foods come to us. As winter prepares its bed for another season of rest we need to have some foresight and start planning for the season of renewal .It is an ideal time to seek out perhaps a community supported agriculture, CSA, to participate in. These farming coops are a great way to get local bounty on your table, but you must be prepared for six weeks of asparagus; beets that will require eating, pickling, storing and other foods as they come and go. Most farms will give CSA participants an idea of what they are planting in their fields. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/csa/csa.shtml.
Regional perspective is where it is out for me. This will allow you to know your farmer and how the land is treated to alleviate the sheer powerless one feels when blanket alerts are put on foodstuffs. From a purely selfish, food snob’s, point-of-view I get product that can peak of the vine and then be whisked off to market and my anxious hands. Become familiar with where a local farmer’s market is, and its philosophy -- don’t just assume everything sold is locally grown and personally cared for. http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/
I just can’t stand being told that I cannot eat because I have chosen not to eat locally -- intimately – conscientiously. Let this monumental moment of change that we are on the cusp of let it trickle down to the very plate you eat from.
Chicken Fillet with Roasted Peppers, Rosemary and Chili - yields 4 servings
1-pound chicken breast - boneless and skinless
1-tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
4 red peppers - roasted and sliced into 1/4" strips
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
5 scallions - sliced on an angle
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cut the chicken breasts into 1/3's. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over a high flame, and add the oil. Then add the chicken and chili, and sauté until golden brown. Add peppers and toss to incorporate with the chicken. Continue cooking until the chicken is done (approximately 10 minutes), and immediately add the balsamic vinegar, rosemary and scallions. Season with black pepper and serve.