|The biggest bacon slices ever!|
I don't have any cool T-shirts with phrases about buying local or about freeing chickens (a Denver campaign to legalize backyard chickens, see HERE) though I was wearing my "Butter was Framed" shirt. I don't live in the city anymore and have moved out to the burbs so I don't know where the cool places to be seen eating brunch are. But the kicker was when I was talking to a shopper about the raw milk pick-ups and how she was horrified and thought it should not be legal. I wanted to shake her and ask why she was even at a farmers market. Yes, it is fun and urbane to trot around the warehouses by the railroad tracks and shop for food and eat organic things and go to brunch but really the reason the farmers markets need to be there is because there needs to be a secondary market for food. I realized in chatting with her that for her it is about consuming an ideal identity, it is about being young and hip and urban and buying the things which reflect the image she wants people to see. She believed that organic food equaled quality and refinement and that having veggies from a farmers market (even if the same stuff you could get in a store) made her the kind of person she wanted to be. It was not about health, not hers or the farmers or the environment, it was about shelling out extra money for an image. She told me, "What good is money if you don't spend it on fun things?" Like food? Food is a fun thing?
When I picked up my $222 of pork (yes, it was exactly that) the farmer and I spoke again about her ridiculous bacon. It is the widest, fattest and most heavenly bacon I have ever had, but is rejected by shoppers at that market and she can't move it. On one hand, that is fine with me because I cleared her out and did so happily. One the other hand, I am really bothered by that. Do you want to know why no one wants her bacon? Because it is fatty. The shoppers at the market want cute organically grown seedlings and organic herbs and even organic ice cream but not fatty bacon. No fat allowed. Or raw milk. Which also has fat. I am going to go with her to a couple of Weston A Price chapter meetings. WAPF-ers are not afraid of fat from pastured hogs. Or her raw goat's milk. They are gonna love what she brings.
I know not all the shoppers there are worried about image or that raw milk is legal or that bacon has fat (which is the point, right?). The man who runs the farmers market is fantastic and I like most of the people I ever see down there but there is the contingent of people who have no idea what it all means. But every once in a while I meet someone and I wish they could shake that consumerism ideal out of their heads. It is not about whether or not you buy all your food from the farmers markets or Whole Foods; the real thing is that you remember the people behind your food. In the end it is all about the people, the people who produce it, prepare it and eat it and what is best for all of those people. Food is fun, but it is not only fun. It is food and it serves its purpose best when it is fed to people.
Linking up to Real Food Wednesday!