Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The food I can buy at my local supermarket has been getting better and better over the last few years. Locally-grown crops are noted as such, ingredients once considered “gourmet” are widely available, organics abound – I can even get organic milk at the White Hen Pantry, which blows my mind, frankly. I’m glad things are improving, but I think it’s important to remember that a lot of large corporations jumping on the organic bandwagon may be officially meeting federal organic requirements, while still raising food in a way that has nothing to do with the organic spirit. For example, a recent article in Salon reviewed the practices of Horizon Organic, which sells milk from cows which are grain-fed and confined most of their lives, allowed out to pasture only four-five hours a day, three months a year. So, while, yes, it’s great that I can get milk that’s hormone and antibiotic-free at any grocery store, I am still glad to get myself to farmers’ markets, where I can buy food that is truly sustainably raised. I want real organic food because it’s better for the environment and the animals, because it’s more nutritious (I’ll write later about grass-feeding), and because it tastes better.

And as a case in point, I submit the following picture:

The egg on the left is an organic egg from a local farmer that I bought at the Central Square farmers' market yesterday. The egg on the right is a Wild Harvest, Omega-3, naturally raised (no antibiotics, no hormones, no animal feed) egg. Notice a difference? The difference in taste is as great as the difference in color. I probably should have included a regular, anemic, color-of-chicken-despair supermarket egg as well, but I didn't have the heart to buy any after tasting the farmers' market eggs.
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