Since the beginning of April I’ve made a commitment to not shop at any grocery store that depends on conventional or ambiguously “natural” (not organic) products. It arose out of my frustration with Whole Foods caving into Monsanto this year, suspected because 2/3rds of their revenue is tied into conventional products, and thus their dependency on corporations like Monsanto. More and more I’ve come to stay away from nation-wide (and definitely international) chains and companies, and focused more and more on the local.
And you can’t get more local than your farmers market.
Food is something that you buy most often, and it’s the most intimate thing you use as a consumer (sans medication). It’s also where your power as a consumer is the highest. Since my boycott started in April, I’ve pulled $1k that I would have normally been investing into Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl grocery, and it’s been instead going to Rainbow Grocery, The Natural Grocery Co., the Ecology Center, and local farmers. Buying organic means that I have that certification that I can trust, and know that 1) the product isn’t covered in poisons 2) the workers didn’t need to inhale poisons 3) the seeds weren’t Genetically Modified 4) the animals were treated well enough that they didn’t have to be kept alive through their abuse with antibiotics 5) the soil/atmosphere surrounding the farm or factory isn’t leaching poisons
It’s the nature of capitalism, that the corporation evolves like a virus, and although they have person-status, they have no consciousness or conscience. The evolution of a corporation demands growth, and growth and profit (at all costs) against competitors. I highly recommend the documentary, Food Inc. (available free online here) to learn more about how the food industry has drastically changed over the last fifty years. I’ve come to trust larger companies less and less, although there are definitely a few good national and international companies that I’m sure are up to great things. The bigger the company, the more skeptical I am. It’s my own internal bias that helps me go for the local brands as much as I can, and I’m happy to say- it’s been working out wonderfully!
Every time I go to the farmers market it’s like a festival. The colors, the smells, the music, the people… little kids running around, samples of half a dozen different flavors of strawberries (who knew?!)… I get to talk with (oftentimes) one of the very farmers who grew that crop, and get to look forward to each change in produce and each variation on local veggies. For instance, dry farmed tomatos are to-die-for! Gottacheckthoseout this season!
So I bring you, this delicious seasonal recipe that I created last night for dinner. It was a major hit, and was pretty inexpensive while being completely from the farmers market (except for the salt and pepper) and all made in one pot. Enjoy!
Juicy Kale & Sausage Rice
Time: 1.5 hours Serves: 3 Value: $9.02
- 3 carrots (chopped)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 4 stalks of celery (chopped)
- 1 Tbs worth of garlic (minced)
- 2 Italian sausages (whole)
- 1 bunch of dino kale (de-stemmed & chopped)
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Put your dutch oven on medium-high heat and coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil.
- Throw in the chopped onion, celery, and carrots, stir once, and let it cook till the bottoms of them have slightly browned (you’re making mirepoix!)
- Place the two whole sausages directly on the bottom of the pan in the middle of your mirepoix mix and let cook on both sides for about 2 minutes each side. Throw in your minced garlic, then mix up the whole mess of deliciousness and cover and let cook for an additional 7 minutes.
- Take out the sausages and let cool on your cutting board while you pour 4 cups of water into your mirepoix. Bring it to boil. Meanwhile, cut up your sausages.
- Once the broth is boiling, add your salt, pepper, and rice.
- Cover and let it cook through (about 30-40 minutes) until there’s maybe 2 cups worth of liquid still hanging around inside. Add your chopped kale, and the sliced sausages to the mix, and stir.
- Let cook for another 5-10 minutes, test that your rice is ready, then serve!