January 25, 2012

freshworthy: in the news

Here's what has caught my eye this week. The third story is especially riveting.

NPR, Allison Aubrey
I do not have children of my own yet, but I do have a younger sister and niece, and worry for their well-being in schools. When watching Jamie's Food Revolution a year or so ago, I was appalled by what passed for food in school cafeterias. That said, I understand there is plenty of red tape to get through... But I seriously doubt that anyone would come right out and say that bureaucratic systems and government-backed subsidies linked to food industry lobbyists are more important than the health of our children.

Which is why this article gives me hope. I remember pizza day in elementary, and how I chose to eat at the snack bar in both junior and senior high school. Many a day, my lunch was simply a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Coke. Seriously. I cringe to think that kids are doing that younger and younger, and am heartened to see that the USDA is making requirements. It's a good read, and it's a cause anyone who cares about food issues should get behind.

NPR, Renee Montagne reporting
What I'm about to say might surprise you, and let it be known that I am not made of money so my argument is not stemming from deep, bill-lined pockets. But I believe that we as consumers should expect to pay a premium for organics. I, for one, find it extremely important that organic standards are upheld, especially in dairy and meat production, and would happily fork over fifty more cents for a gallon of organic milk if it meant that those dairy farmers were better able to do their jobs and provide for their own family. Doesn't that seem fair? If we want organic farmers to stay afloat, they need to be making living wages.

The point being, I am already choosing to purchase premium foods and I understand that the price points are competitive and also necessary. Does that make me want to go back to milk pumped with growth hormones? No way. It makes me shop smarter, maybe shirking some goods I don't need (like chocolate bars for "rough days") so that I can continue to purchase the high-quality, organic, ethically and humanely produced items that are so very important to me in my everyday diet.

Texas Monthly, Katy Vine
Let me say that I haven't even read this story yet. But the image of two of the nation's best (it's been proven, trust me) BBQers on the cover of Texas Monthly, flanking a foot-thick wooden cutting block piled high with sausage, brisket, ribs, and more pepper than you can shake a butcher knife at, makes my mouth water.

That I grew up eating the BBQ in one of the state's most famous burnt-wall, smoke-fired establishments makes it even harder to turn my eyes away from the spectacle.

My vegetarian self has not wavered in the more than two years since I last ate red meat. But as this story progressed, and more and more free BBQ (post-photo shoot or not) showed up in our office kitchen, it started: the disdain for disallowing myself something so good. Something delicious, and meaty, and, as one friend put it, my birthright as a native Texan.

Damn, I miss brisket.