No, this isn’t another new regular feature here at The Inbox, but I thought I send your way a couple of interesting pieces about food to send you into your BBQ and picnic-filled weekend.
Charles talks with local high school seniors about author Ben Hewitt’s, The Town That Food Saved, which chronicles the growth of small, mostly organic agribusiness in Hardwick. (Listen to my interview with Hewitt here.)
Here’s what one of the students say:
“He only covers one side of the town,” says Derek Demers. “There’s the side of the town that’s for the local food movement, but I think there’s an even greater side of the town, with more people, that can’t afford the local food. I work at our local supermarket grocery store, and I see most of the people in town there.”
That supermarket food is shipped in from far away, but it’s mostly cheaper than the local squash and greens and tomatoes on sale at the town co-op.
It’s become an ironic fact of modern life (and the U.S. subsidy system) that fresh fruits and vegetables, once the food of peasants and poor folks, are today more expensive than meat and fatty and sugary products.
Not everybody can afford a “local diet” these days. But Charles’ story details how Hardwick is trying to change that.
It’s not just a problem here in the U.S. According to this NPR story, kids in Italy, Spain, and Greece are getting fatter from abandoning the Mediterranean diet:
There’s no match for the huge marketing efforts and promotion of junk food, and we have to protect our children,” said Walter Willet, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, and one of the researchers who helped to popularize the Mediterranean diet in the U.S. back in the early 1990s.
So here’s a question to chew on for the weekend. What signs do you see in the North Country of a healthy local food system? Where can you get good, healthy food for decent prices?