I’m ethnically Chinese (mostly, anyway), so culturally speaking, eating is what I’m supposed to do best after playing the piano and taking SAT prep classes. And since my piano career was cut short due to never wanting to practice and SAT prep just wasn’t my thing (because my test-taking skills stunk), I tended to focus on the eating part, which I really excelled at. So, I make my parents proud, I think.
Due to my magnificent eating prowess, I’ve always known what it meant to eat plentifully and generously, though I hadn’t always been keen about eating wholesomely and healthfully. Thankfully my mother got pretty down with the California natural foods movement early in the 90’s, and my family would occasionally splurge on a farmers’ market purchase every now and again. Shopping and eating these fruits and vegetables made it easier to see the benefits of eating more sustainably, something that has become a national trend in the last decade.
Now that my parents are older, wiser, and frankly, richer than they were twenty years ago, these farmers market purchases are more of a weekly habit rather than monthly splurge. Whenever I go home to visit, I’ll accompany my parents on a trip to our local farmers’ market at West Valley Junior College. Now, I love seeing markets all across the world- you probably gained that through some of the entries on this blog throughout my time in China and beyond. But there’s really nothing that beats being home at summer’s peak, when there are buckets of blueberries, bushels of corn, and a bonanza of peaches, ripe and sweet in all their glories, just waiting to be purchased on a Saturday morning in sunny yet temperate Northern California. I know that was a long, run-on sentence, but it just had to be.
Plus when you throw in a freshly baked almond brioche, that’s the definition of #winning.
There’s been a clear and conscious lean towards eating healthier, more organic, and more local in the last twenty years. I’m happy to find that most of America is trending towards the direction of good food- away from the supermarket heyday and frozen food novelties of the 50’s and 60’s. (I guess when I say most of America, it might just be coastal America, but that’s all I’ve ever known. You can feel free to leave me nasty comments about this presumption, below.)
The main reason for my waxing poetic about going home to the market was to share with you this recent article from The Atlantic, which emphasizes the USDA’s support for local agriculture and farms. Because the better the local systems, the better your local economy. Support your hometown farmers today (or, this weekend)!!