Read this NPR article on the difference between fresh, local tomatoes and ones that are shipped from Florida. You will come to the market every week after reading it!
Eden Good, our vegan cookie vendor and the West End Farmers Market are having a Blue Ribbon Canning Contest! If you love to can - Enter for a chance to showcase your favorite canning recipe! If you don't know how to can, pick up a recipe book at the Eden Good tent and try out a few then experiment and THEN ENTER the canning recipe contest.
See Eden Good's website for more information or just come by the market and see Lucy and Bonita of Eden Good show you how simple and easy canning is the modern age. Did you know that you can can in the dishwasher? Remarkable!
There will be a taste of Eden - where the recipes will be tried out on August 21, 2011.
Don't miss the chance to try something different and save all that luscious good fresh food for the those cold winter months.
See you at the market!
It has been more than a week since we heard anything further on the very dangerous e-coli outbreak in Europe. This e-coli was a vicious strain that resisted normal antibiotics and killed, at last count, 22 people. European officials were frantically searching for the source of the bacterial infection, pointing fingers first at cucumbers from Spain, then sprouts from a farm in Germany. Neither of those turned out to be true. Interestingly, the story faded quickly, although paranoia about food consumption seems to be still in progress. The BBC reported six days ago that Spanish farmers can't give away their produce, even though noone has been able to prove the E-coli came from Spain.
I have a prediction.
European investigators will find that international produce, which is picked early and trucked or flown long distances, will be passing through a common processing plant where they are sprayed clean of dirt, waxed to look good, irradiated to force them to look ripe, and sometimes packaged. The E-Coli will be entering the food system at this site, the processing plant, through a contaminated water system.
This processing plant will be located near an animal processing plant, called CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). At these sites, animals are kept in a small space and given antibiotics to stave off the infections that occur from a poor diet, lack of exercise and, most importantly, standing all day, up to their stomachs, in their own poop. The antibiotics come out in the poop, mix with all the other poop and this slurry of poop and its accompanying mix of bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc goes sliding into the nearest stream or pond, or seeps through into the water table, contaminating the water system in the area around the CAFO. Of course bacteria are going to become resistant and are given the opportunity to become resistant since they are swimming around with antibiotics - they learn how to thrive in spite of them.
If you listen very closely to what the news reports coming out of Europe you will hear the scientists continuously mention looking at the places where the food was processed. I predict within the month, we will hear that the source of the E-Coli is in the processing, and is due to contaminated water.
This is the one of the best arguments for shopping local I can think of!
YOU, loyal farmers market people, you don't have to worry about the food you purchase at our market! You see that dirt on the carrots - that is the dirt they grew in. Wash it at home - your tap water does not have E-Coli, does not come from a well near a CAFO! You can rest assured, you will eat well, and safely when you buy at your local farmers market!
Purchase your fruits and vegetables at the West End Farmers Market and never worry about pesticides in your food! Our farmers practice sustainable agricultural techniques. They may not be able to afford the USDA "Organic" label, but they farm as close to those standards as possible. Our apples and celery are safe!
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit working to protect public health and the environment, published their 2011 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
This year apples and celery top the list of items they recommend people purchase organically to reduce the risk of dangerous intakes of pesticides. The EWG measured the pesticides after powerwashing the produce and peeling it as a normal cook might do.
Consider this: a pesticide is a lethal dose of poison meant to kill a living thing. If it kills a bug it may harm you as well. It can be hard to make the leap from spraying for bugs to dangerous to humans - especially since most of us treat our homes for ants and cockroaches. But would you ever spray an insecticide on your hand, rinse your hand with water and then lick your hand? Sounds yucky doesn't it? There would be residue, you would ingest it. Pesticides are made to stay on the fruit even if it rains. They don't wash off with water.
Read the EWG article. It is informative and it gives you a list of produce that pesticide use does not affect, like sweet potatoes and onions, as well as a list of fifteen produce items that you should purchase at your farmers market or organic in the store.
See you at the market!
Do you have a Gmail account? Are you using your Reader?
Google Reader allows you to subscribe to our blog using our RSS feed. You can easily share individual blog posts with others by simply emailing the post to them right from Google Reader!
Adding our RSS feed is easy. Here's a step-by-step how-to:
"West End Farmers Market - Blog" should now show up in the left column. When you click on that link, the blog posts should appear on the right and you can read them from there!
At the bottom of each post there are several links. The fifth one is "Email." When you click on that, an email message opens up with the entire blog post in the body of your email. From here, you can share it with anyone!