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Local Vermont Foods!

Aside from avoiding my legal writing assignment, I was inspired to write this tonight because of a meal I made with tons of local veggies. I had some roasted squashes (from dinner the night before), with steamed broccoli, celery, onion and garlic blended it all in the food processor (or blender I’m sure) with the oils from the roasted veggies, some water, yogurt (well I actually used Keefer), splash of soy sauce and pepper. I threw a piece of toast in the toaster, put some Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese on it and I had a yummy and healthy meal (using leftovers!). But it also got me thinking…

Prior to moving here, I think I was most excited about the fresh produce, cheese, wine, beer, etc. I love that I can buy local, directly from farmers, either at a farmer’s market or at the FARM! What a concept. The organic craze is what it is… It makes me happy that people care, I just think a certification program is less than ideal. The consumer still does not really have a guarantee about the freshness or much of the farming practices or distance to market from the farm. I love being able to see exactly what I’m eating and know where it came from. Not that I’m saying I know every farmer here has healthy farming practices, but what I do know is that what I buy comes from my neighborhood (in a broad sense of the word). The shipping is reduced to travel from the farm to the market. This translates into savings! Both of the environment and of real life money. Not to mention, the food is so fresh! All the veggies taste so much better than what you buy at most chain grocery stores. I haven’t even mentioned the great micro-breweries, wineries and cideries in VT! I will leave that for another day.

You can find a Farmer’s Market to go to almost every day, in the summer months that is. There are festivals celebrating local Vermont goodies happening frequently. Just last weekend was a cheese and wine festival! There are some 18 breweries for which you can obtain a “passport” and “earn” t-shirts or other goodies for getting your passport stamped at all the breweries you visit. I really just cannot get enough of the truly farm fresh foods of Vermont. I have been cooking for myself every day and it is probably the best (healthiest & cheapest) distraction from the massive amount of work for law school. Well cooking and exercising, but that too is a whole other blog. So my point is, yay to buying local and eating fresh food.

Some articles and information on organics, (non)-GMO, food safety, etc:

Vermont Agriculture (Festivals, Dairies, Wine, Beer, and Farmer’s Market info): http://www.vermontagriculture.com/buylocal/visit/index.html

Non-GMO: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/29/business/29gmo.html?scp=2&sq=organic&st=cse

Organic & Food Safety – the peanut butter Salmonella outbreak: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/dining/04cert.html

Local Growing & Food Safety: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/health/policy/10food.html

What Does Organic Really Mean? http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/29/business/29instincts.html

Lots more info! http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/o/organic_food/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier

Last link: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/mission/viewpoint/fightingforastrongorganiclabel0602/

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