From the July 2006 Idaho Observer:

Food trends up and down; good and bad

UP: By the 80s many health-conscious people began creating a marketplace for "organic" food—produce grown without chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and prepared foods made with minimal processing from wholesome ingredients.

DOWN: By the 90s, corporate food monopolists such as Monsanto, Heinz, Pepsi, Carghill and General Mills began buying up organic food producers. Today, almost all popular organic food brands are controlled the corporate entities responsible for polluting the food supply with genetically-modified and chemically-adulterated products (The IO, May, 2006).

GOOD: The silent corporate takeover over of organic food has caused a resurgence in the popularity of local farmers’ markets. If the farmers’ markets in our area and throughout the northwest are any indication of a national trend, then we can safely say that millions of health (and economy) conscious Americans are reinventing the timeless tradition of farmers’ markets to meet their contemporary fresh food and social interaction needs.

BAD: Every year a group of us go to U-pick farms to harvest produce we do not grow in our own garden as it comes in season. We generally pick cherries to eat right away, strawberries and beans to freeze, herbs to dry, onions and potatoes to store and tomatoes and peppers to can. We have been noting that, each year, fewer and fewer people come out to pick. We generally chat with our U-pick farmers and they are telling us it is harder and harder to keep their fields open to the public for lack of pickers.

SUGGESTION: The next free, sunshining summer morning you have, get a couple of friends and/or family members together and take a trip to your local U-pick farm. You will rediscover the joy of harvesting your own food and become reaquainted with the importance of thinking about putting food up for the winter.

Ingri and I wanted to mention this to you because there will come a day when food is no longer available 24/7 from your neighborhood supermarketeer. In the meantime, it is prudent (and truly enjoyable) to get back into the habit of harvesting, eating an abundance of fresh, wholseome, unadulturated produce in season and putting the rest up for winter. It is also wise to get out there and pick the food being grown for you so when the last irradiated, genetically-modified $1 potato has been snatched from the supermarket shelf, you will have kept your farmer in business.

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