Field Notes Volume 3 | Number 2 June 8th, 2015
The Power of Produce
I think I always liked veggies. ItÂ’s been a long time since I was a kid, although sometimes it seems like it was yesterday, so I canÂ’t exactly remember. But IÂ’m pretty sure I liked to eat about everything- even a lot of stuff (like soap and poison berries) that I shouldnÂ’t have wanted to eat. Most kids donÂ’t seem like that. There are the odd few who feel kindred spirits to me who have an adventurous spirit and will try just about anything- but most donÂ’t like much of anything thatÂ’s green and some donÂ’t even like the sweet stuff. I have spent a lot of time pondering over peopleÂ’s pallets wondering why some of us like some
things, some like others, some like pretty much everything and some seemingly donÂ’t like much of anything thatÂ’s green. I donÂ’t have the answers, and honestly havenÂ’t researched it enough to have an opinion based on anything more than that. I have my theories- mostly based around what a mother eats during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but they are only that. But even with all of these ideas I feel confident that most people can learn to love vegetables and live and feel healthier for it.
All you old and grown folks please accept my apologies in advance- I love it when yaÂ’ll get excited about what we grow, when I can see the kid inside shine through and a bit of that chlld-like joy shine through, but nothing gets me more excited about growing vegetables than when I get to see and to share in the joy of a kid who eats a vegetable for the first time and likes it. Honestly I even get a kick out of seeing them make those little faces of displeasure when something doesnÂ’t suit their palate. 🙂
Lately I have gotten to see a lot of these kids around the markets, particularly at the Bridgeport Market, where my lady friend Athena has developed a program called POP, or the Power of Produce. This program, which is modeled after one of the same name that was created in Oregon, seeks to introduce kids to the fun and excitement of veggies, through activities and giving kids tokens that they can spend of veggies at the market. It just got started, but already seems on its way to great success by the looks on the childrenÂ’s and their parents faces.
This kind of thing is especially important in our state, since we face a crisis in our food system and rising incidence of childhood diseases related to nutrition- such as diabetes, as well as many lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular disease, increased rates of cancers, and even allergies and asthma (which have some correlation to exposure to both positive and negative agents such as microbes), which tend develop with the choices that we make early in life. I wonÂ’t get too far into this, since I am a bit out of my depth, but for me theÂ causes and solutions are simple- a good diet, a healthy lifestyle and healthy environment means a better chance at good health and a good life.
ItÂ’s all too easy for us to make the wrong choices, since our lifestyles and eating habits have been geared towards a lifestyle of convenience, where were have largely given up responsibility over what we eat and placed it instead in the hands of food scientists and large multinational corporations that just donÂ’t have our health or best interests in mind, but rather are most interested in profits, market share and efficiency of production.
We always have a choice, and I commend you all and your families for seeking to make healthy choices by incorporating fresh organically raised vegetables into your daily lives, but the longer we eat unhealthy foods the harder it is for us to break those patterns. Our bodies actually adjust to what we eat and it even effects the basic composition of our beings (for instance in the flora of our digestive system). And thatÂ’s why itÂ’s so vital that we get kids interested and excited in eating vegetables- because they are the basis of a healthy diet, but for me all of these words are really just a big excuse for trying to get kids to be excited about what they eat and maybe smile at a vegetable.
Salad Mix – Enjoy!
Kale – Great sauteed, pan fried, or baked into kale chips. We have been enjoying quite a bit of kale salad lately
Peas (either sugar snap or snow peas) – Can be eaten whole. Sweetest thing of the season.
Broccoli! – Should be around for at least another week- this hot weather takes a bit of a toll on it though
Baby Beets – Great roasted or boiled. The greens are very similar to swiss chard
and should be prepared the same. I will be making a roasted beet salad for lunch tom orrow
For Market-Style CSA Customers:
You will receive Salad Mix, Peas, Broccoli, and Beets with your choice of addtional items.