Locavore Day xxx: Not quite finished

May 7th, 2010 by ddyjack

Hi, it’s been a week since my last entry, and I want you to know that I believe I am converted. While I have not blogged for a while, I nonetheless continue to enjoy the experiment. Last Friday I went to Goodwin’s in Riverside. Goodwin’s is an organic store, with a deli and coffee shop. I purchased a free range, cage free chicken from Mary’s Farms. On Mary’s Web Site, a description of the growing conditions for the birds go something like this:
Mary’s Free-Range California Bronze Air Chilled Chickens are raised with the highest standards. They are grown on a pasture field in the sunny valley of California. These chickens have places to perch. They are given areas to dust bathe. These chickens are treated with great respect and compassion. Mary’s Free-Range California Bronze Air Chilled Chickens are a slower growing breed, taking more time to grow before being sent to market. These chickens are living a lifestyle and environment that is closest to their natural state.
I purchased a bird that weighed close to four pounds, and liberally applied Wye River and Emerill’s seasoning. Now I paid close to $10 for the chicken, but folks, it provided the basis for my dinner meals over five evenings, and two lunches. Coupled with locally grown vegetables, I looked forward to the culinary experience each day. The flavor of this chicken is distinctively different from industrial processed ones, what an awesome taste bud experience. While the bird was raised outside of my 100 mile zone, it certainly was raised in California.
For more information about Marys’ go to: http://www.maryschickens.com/

Locavore Day 27: Food, Inc.

April 29th, 2010 by ddyjack

Apologies for my absence the last few days, the relentless pace is taking its toll. I continue to enjoy the locavore experience. For example, today at lunch I consumed a homemade salad of red lettuce, radishes, and carrots. Last night for dinner I enjoyed hard boiled local brown eggs, sautéed fresh garlic and steamed spinach. All of this was complemented by fresh ruby red grapefruits grown in Highlands, by Jesse and Walleska Bliss.
While my meals have been simple but tasty, a couple weeks ago I purchased and reviewed a documentary called “Food, Inc”, which examines corporate America’s control of the food industry. While most of its major case studies were not particularly revealing, I nonetheless was outraged by two aspects of the film. First, the utterly despicable conditions (yes, utterly despicable) under which most chickens are raised, for meat and eggs, are not consistent with my Christian upbringing. Most poultry may not ever benefit from natural sunlight, are raised in disgusting coops, and have been genetically manipulated to accommodate consumer’s preferences for breast meat, to the point that the animals may be unable to stand on their own. This is abhorrent. I grieve. I was raised on poultry, love authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken (listen, I prepare the best Jerk, and rice-n-peas west of the Mississippi), and salivate at the idea of grilled bird. I cannot in good conscience purchase non-free range poultry after watching the documentary. Is this what I want my children to eat?
Tomorrow I will discuss (disgust) Monsanto……….

Locavore Day 24: Radicchio Blues

April 26th, 2010 by ddyjack

I consumed a first rate salad last night for dinner, radicchio, assorted leaf lettuce, beets and radishes, with an Italian dressing amplified by fresh Kampot (Cambodian) cracked black pepper. While the homemade mixture was a delight, I was bewildered by the bitterness of Radicchio. The reddish color suggests the leaf contains some serious nutrients, but man, that stuff will make your mouth pucker. This morning I reamed some fresh Valencia oranges provided by the Inland Empire CSA , and am in the midst of consuming a pint of Riverside strawberries for breakfast. These berries are big, and possess the perfect strawberry shape, but pale in flavor comparison to Gary Leavitt’s.
Angela Dyjack forwarded to me a website, www. Eatwellguide.org. check it out. While it appears that the site could benefit from more accurate populating of the content, I appreciate that someone has provided some level 1-stop shopping for the locavore in all of us.

Days 20-23: Loca-motive on Venice Beach at Day Break

April 25th, 2010 by ddyjack

Imagine this: its 4:30 a.m. on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, we’ve been running for almost 24 hours as members of the Ragnar Relay, when one of our attractive female runners shoots a glance of fear and trepidation in my direction. The next leg of the relay was hers to run, and the running route was right through the heart of some nefarious real estate, and not adjacent to the van escort route. She felt unsafe and wanted me to run her route. I was sooo looking forward to my leg, the Hermosa Beach run, scheduled to begin about 7:30 in the morning – down the pier, and along the bike route adjacent to the beach – sounded sweet. However, my paternal instincts kicked in and I somewhat reluctantly agreed to cover for her. I began my run at the famous Santa Monica pier, and down the beach and immediately encountered some seedy looking characters.
As I wound my way down the beach with the first rays of dawn breaking through the ether, I heard the sweets sounds of Billie Holiday coming from somewhere, I had a chance to reflect on the locavore experience. I had eaten out for lunch and dinner yesterday – both business meals – and not a single menu item referenced local food in either restaurant. It was ironic that we started the race in Oxnard, well known for its ground crops, how difficult would it be to offer locally grown food on the menu? I learned today from Don at the Drayson Center that the Loma Linda Food market, which offers only vegetarian products, is trying to buy most of its produce locally. I am going to pay them a visit tomorrow and speak to the manager. In the meantime, Gary Leavitt of CSA provided me another brilliant package of locally grown vegetables, which I am going home to consume in a few minutes.
cheers, Dr.D.

Day 19: Ragged Out

April 21st, 2010 by ddyjack

Ladies and Gents, this may be my last entry for a few days, as our School (including yours truly) is running the Ragnar relay. http://www.ragnarrelay.com/losangeles/results.php The relay starts Friday @ 8:30 a.m. for us, and is a 200 mile non-stop marathon. Yepper, as the late great band Little Feat used to sing “roll on through the night”. We expect to complete this gig around 7:00 on Saturday evening. Our team name is “PODO Sole”, and our aim is to raise awareness around the neglected tropical disease podoconiosis. For more info, please visit the web site of our sponsor, Dr. Larry Thomas, and his 501 © (3) – Tropical Health Alliance Foundation (WWW.THAF.ORG)
Here are a few fun facts to keep you enamored until I return:
1) An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in this county are given to farm animals.
2) If a person replaces one 20 OZ soda a day with a no-calorie beverage such as water, that person could expect to lose 25 pounds in a year
3) According to the US EPA, the US applies 1 billion pounds of pesticides each year.
4) Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years of age. 5) Farmers markets allow farmers to keep 80-90% of each dollar spent.
Signing off,
Marathon Man

Day 18: What is all this Chive?

April 20th, 2010 by ddyjack

The pace is relentless, but something new to report, Ms. Krystal Boyce (one of our students) shared with me some herbs grown right outside the School of Public Health. Evidently she and Chef Corey have a small plot which contains among other things, chives, curry, and dill weed. While I am finishing my homemade stew of fresh local turnips, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, brilliant tiny potatoes of various shapes and sizes, and Brussels sprouts, all pulled together with a liquid base comprised of curry powder, coconut milk and fresh black pepper, I will try and be nimble and come up with a creative use of the herbs. Man, fresh salmon with dill……….alright, I’ll have to avoid the temptation.

I encountered an article in the New York Times this evening written by John Tierney, I have copied and pasted some of his thoughts below, evidently not everyone is convinced………

3. “Let them eat organic” is not a global option. For affluent humans in industrialized countries, organic food is pretty much a harmless luxury. Although there’s no convincing evidence that the food is any healthier or more nutritious than other food, if that label makes you feel healthier and more virtuous, then you can justify the extra cost.
But most people in the world are not affluent, and their food budgets are limited. If they’re convinced by green marketers that they need to choose higher-priced organic produce, they and their children are liable to end up eating fewer fruits and vegetables — and sometimes nothing at all, as occurred when Zambia rejected emergency food for starving citizens because the grain had been genetically engineered.
In “Denialism,” a book about the spread of unscientific beliefs, Michael Specter criticizes the “organic fetish” as a “pernicious kind of denialism” being exported to poor countries.
“Total reliance on organic farming would force African countries to devote twice as much land per crop as we do in the United States,” he writes. “An organic universe sounds delightful, but it could consign millions of people in Africa and throughout much of Asia to malnutrition and death.”
4. Frankenfood, like Frankenstein, is fiction. The imagined horrors of “frankenfoods” have kept genetically engineered foods out of Europe and poor countries whose farmers want to export food to Europe. Americans, meanwhile, have been fearlessly growing and eating them for more than a decade — and the scare stories seem more unreal than ever.
Last week, the National Academy of Sciences reported that genetically engineered foods had helped consumers, farmers and the environment by lowering costs, reducing the use of pesticide and herbicide, and encouraging tillage techniques that reduce soil erosion and water pollution.
“I daresay the environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than with any other thing we’ve been wrong about,” Mr. Brand writes in “Whole Earth Discipline.” “We’ve starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment, and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool.”