Alternative Food Systems

It's a gorgeous day, everything just feels so bright. It was so nice to be back into the warm-weather-pattern-of-doing-things, i.e., stopping by the farmers' market at Union Square this morning to do some grocery shopping. I hadn't been going much for the winter, there's only so many potatoes and apples one can eat. I picked up some gorgeous asparagus, tatsoy, eggs, pork chops, ground turkey, fresh baby garlic, radishes, yogurt...I'm getting hungry just thinking about all this food! But seriously. Since we moved to New York, I've been thinking a lot about food systems and how one's buying habits can support one system or another. There are so many things that we don't think about when we go to the corner deli to buy lunch, or go to the supermarket to pick up a pineapple or a steak, or eat dinner at the cafe on the corner - where the food is coming from, the process through which it went through to end up in your hands, the people whose effort it took to bring it to you.

I've been trying different strategies to support the food systems I care about. In Manhattan, it seems like you can get almost anything you want, whenever you want, provided you have the money to pay for it. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, it's a little different. Bodegas make up the bulk of places to buy food in our neighborhood. They stock items like milk and eggs, but carry mostly industrially processed, prepackaged foods beyond basic dairy items. They don't have much in the way of fresh fruit or vegetables - if I do find an onion it's usually sprouted!

It seems like this issue is picking up some momentum and public exposure because of the increase in food prices across the board - people are wondering, why has the price of flour jumped 100%? Buying groceries shouldn't be a luxury. I hope that I can do my best to stick to buying and shopping at places that are concerned with where the food is coming from.

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