Thursday, November 4, 2010

Slow and steady wins the race

Walking into a supermarket today can be a scary sight. It's like entering a mass produced, techno-color, "10 for $10!" frenzy! Many grocery stores possess endless isles of products that seem capable of sitting on shelves for eons ... does that raise any red flags to you? So much of the store is composed of "foods" that are pumped full of preservatives and chemicals, so much so, that it raises the question of whether or not it still classifies as food.

As I've increased my awareness of real, fresh produce, I've slowly started to migrate away from the isles and stick to the periphery where I can trust to find substantial, nourishing food. Yet after shopping at supermarkets in Bloomington for the past 3 years, I'm beginning to lose my trust in what I'm purchasing. I don't know who I would turn to when asking about the quality and history of the products they carry. Can you even use the term "grocer" in a supermarket these days? If I were to ask which farm the eggplants came from or if the farmer ethically treats his dairy cows, I can almost guarantee that the clerk would be speechless.

If you are not familiar with the "Slow Food Movement", it is well worth a little research. As the organization Slow Food International says on their website, "Slow Food is an idea, a way of living, a way of eating [...] that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment." The movement stands for local pride, tradition and culture. Slow food encourages using local foods, interacting with farmers and providing the community with care and nourishment.

Last night, I took my aunt and uncle to a restaurant called "FARMbloomington" where head chef Daniel Orr uses seasonal, local ingredients to make culinary creations that leave your taste buds singing and dancing with delight. I literally drooled when my vegetable plate arrived, covered with seven different samples ranging from teriyaki portobello mushrooms to butternut squash topped with a pumpkin puree and goat cheese. Everything tasted absolutely wonderful. As we closed out the restaurant at 11 p.m., polishing off a piece of pumpkin pie drizzled with caramel sauce, the essence of "slow food" captured the moment - appreciating the local bounty with the people you love. This is something that should happen every day. Why settle for chemically infused dressing and hormone injected poultry? And those plastic coated zucchini? I think you can see where this is going.

The message: Eat real food with authentic respect.

A little bit of my inspiration. Watch it and let me know what you think:

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