Saturday, September 19, 2009

September delights

We just spent a week in Michigan, not far from where our favorite produce grows. We're home again, and this morning I made my regular Saturday-morning trek to Wheaton's outdoor market. Today's haul is made up entirely of what Michael Pollan calls "the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food."

This is what I brought home for $30: broccoli, red-leaf lettuce, eggplant, zucchini, roma tomatoes, a sweet onion, two bell peppers (red and yellow), a handful of red, yellow, and orange tiny sweet peppers, green beans, brussels sprouts, 4 ears of corn, blueberries, and raspberries from my favorite farmer from Berrien County (neighbors: check out the stand at the southeast corner of the market). And for another $5.25, a loaf of whole grain nutty bread from Great Harvest Bread Company.

In his recent book In Defense of Food, Pollan lays down three rules for healthy eating: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is easy to do if you live near southwestern Michigan or central Washington or other places where fruit and vegetables grow in profusion. It is somewhere between difficult and impossible to do if your food source has to be Target or Wal-Mart. As I noted in another post, Pollan believes that a reformed health-insurance system will lead to better food for everybody, since universal coverage will give insurers a huge incentive to keep people healthy.

I pray that he's right. But words like reform and rules and even health do not even begin to describe the food I brought home this morning. Think Abundance. Bounty. Plenty. Richness. Pleasure. Joy. Celebration. Gratitude.

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