Today was National Agriculture Day – an annual celebration of everything we eat. And while I didn’t stumble upon this fact until mid-afternoon, I celebrated with excitement because agriculture is sexy.
I’m not talking about all agriculture here. The food industrial complex in America has been eroding our interest in quality, flavorful pure ingredients over the past century. The model that gets mega-farm products from the factories to our grocery store shelves is not interested in intrinsic flavor. Processing, preservation, salt, sugar, fat, and food coloring can trick us into accepting – and gorging on – this product.
But, as the film Ingredients begins, “our tastebuds are there to guide us to food.”
Real food doesn’t need makeup to feel pretty. It’s effortless, nude, healthy. You don’t have to cook the hell out of it to neutralize the tinge of chemicals on the tongue. You can eat it barely dressed and straight from the garden bed at its peak of ripeness. It’s a shame that you won’t find farm fresh vegetables on Food Porn Daily. For while unhealthy, comfort food can actually worsen your mood, quality agriculture makes you feel invigorated.
So keep killin ‘em agriculture and hot, young farmers who are returning to the field to restore our food systems. Keep bringing us your goods and we’ll keep inviting you into our homes.
Want to learn more about the farm to table movement? Come with me to this Harlem Earth Day event featuring Marcus Samuelsson on April 3, 2013!
Butternut Squash “Lasagnette” with Sage and Parmesan
This surprisingly delicious by-product of last night’s experimental butternut squash-spinach-sausage lasagna could be a great first course. It’s a light, but complex flavored dish with sweet, savory, and salty notes. And only a few minutes to prepare.
Just shave the meat of butternut squash into long, thin strips using a sharp vegetable peeler. Heat a little organic, low-sodium chicken broth in a shallow pan – you want just enough to float but not drown the squash. Simmer for 1-2 minutes retaining the al dente texture of the squash. Remove to plates and sprinkle lightly with ground sage (or fresh thyme) and Parmesan. Enjoy!
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