Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Belated Birthday Greetings: UrbanFoodGuy Turns 2

It's hard to imagine that I have been writing this blog for two years. The actual anniversary is June 2, but I was on my way to France and a little distracted nonetheless I feel like such an occasion shouldn't go unmentioned.

I started this blog as something to give me focus after I closed my store and importing business. I did it at the prompting of Neil, I did it begrudgingly and in reading some of the early posts my anger was palpable even if it was in the service of saving the planet from evil food corporations and agricultural giants set out to destroy us!

Even though it makes me cringe a little I thought that the best way to celebrate the terrible twos was to reprint my first blog post, which ends with me promising "more tomorrow" and thank "you" for stopping by. So thank you again for continuing to stop by, it really means a lot to me, more tomorrow!

Eat. Real. Food.

I'm only printing the text if you hit the above link you can watch the video I mention and get the recipe for brown rice risotto!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Eat. Real. Food.

Estimated percentage of the 143 million tons of US beef recalled in February that had already been eaten: 50 million tons*
(*Harpers Index June 2008)

It's very clear that we cannot expect our government or regulatory agencies to protect us from food that is hazardous to our health. It’s a well know fact at this point that large corporations have been creating “food products” for the better part of the last century and that these non-foods (fast food, frozen dinners, anything packaged or processed, a plethora of colored and corn syrup sweetened beverages, etc) is bad for us (check out the video at the end of this post for a great talk by the NY Times food writer and cook Mark Bittman.)

I’m not against eating meat as long as I know where the meat comes from. I am, however, against eating as much meat as we do and think we need to really drastically change the way we think about the food on our table, not only what kind of food but in what portion and in what ratios. My starting this blog is a way for me to try and figure out how you can live in a city (I live on the Lower East Side in Manhattan) and be able to eat in a manner that is environmentally sound, good tasting and good for you without going crazy trying to find it.

My sub-heading "Eat. Real. Food" is often used these days in some form or another, it’s become the mantra of foodies the world over. Some will wonder just exactly why their chicken McNuggets don’t qualify. But then again some people are just willfully stupid. "Change is hard! Really why should I bother?" Diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and lack of universal health care would all seem to me to be good reasons to bother. But, hey, that’s just me and I am still a minority in this country when it comes to healthy eating and farming.

First of all, as I see it, change isn’t an option; we have to change or the very existence of our planet is at risk. Stopping the eating industrial meat would be a huge first step. Don’t order moo shoo pork to go from the local Chinese unless you know where that pork came from, where it grew up, how it was treated, what it was fed and how it was slaughtered. That is my day 1 challenge to you. If we collectively stopped eating this meat then we could significantly help reduce green house gas emissions, a far greater amount of which are caused by factory farmed beef then they are by cars (see video above).

You want to eat cow? Go to your local farmers market and buy a whole cow or split it with some friends and freeze it (or a pig or a bison or a deer or a sheep…). Become friends with your farmer, go visit, see how the animals are treated, how they live and feel good knowing you are doing the right thing not only for your health, but for the whole planet. We do have options and local family farmers are all over this country, increasingly bringing their food directly to those of us who live in urban centers, and they desperately need our support. If you don’t have a local farmers market go online and see who is farming in your region. I’ll try and post as many links as possible here in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, I will try to help by sharing my daily and weekly routines for shopping for in season, well grown (at least organically), local produce and share with you my ideas about how to maximize your use of this moment’s bounty with simple recipes.

To start here is a recipe I’ve developed that if you live in the North East United States should come just in time for spring Asparagus.

I can’t make any promises but I am going to try and do this every day.

Thanks for stopping by. More tomorrow.

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