I know, I know: things are getting better all the time. For some. Even Walmart carries locally produced foods--in a few of its stores. I've yet to find one where this is actually happening, but I hear their stuff is terrific. Farmers' markets? Everyone in New York City, please put your hands down. You are among the chosen few. The surreal fact is that it is easier to find fresh, organic produce at the outdoor markets in a large city--in the middle of winter--than in most parts of the country. And in Rhode Island, I live near farms. In fact, those stalks of sprouts were a gift to Frances Palmer, who shot their portrait. But the farm stands near me aren't open through the winter; nor are they farming completely organically.
Candid Camera. Whole Foods is beginning to remind me of the Armani v Gap thing: when Armani began selling plain white cotton tee shirts, I wondered why we didn't just go to the Gap and ask them to charge us more for their tee shirts? Same with Whole Foods prices. But I guess we're paying for miles of pristine aisles.
Don't get me wrong. I love organic produce as much as the next person. I get a thrill watching the Rhode Island chickens who lay "my" eggs strutting up the gangplank into their covered wagon, pecking around their field for bugs. (And what's with feeding chickens totally vegetarian diets? They thrive on bugs--that's protein to them.)
I hope that someday, everyone will eat better food. Meatless Monday is a terrific idea; we could all do with improving our diets. But I don't appreciate dollops of attitude with my ingredients. Market snobbery and one-upsmanship have no place in our kitchens. Let's count our blessings for the bounty we have.