Another month, and more to talk about. So many things have been happening lately that are in one way or another food-related, I hardly know where to start, so I’ll just pick one topic and we’ll see where it leads…
So I know I’m somewhat late to the party, but I have actually been following the Flint water crisis situation a bit. It is nothing short of astounding (or maybe I should say appalling) that people who are in charge of the safety of hundreds of thousands of people can know that something is going on and just…let it happen. The actual cause of the problem was more of a “perfect storm” situation, but it definitely wasn’t helped by the officials in the city and state governments who turned down help and (apparently) misused funding for fixing the problem. This isn’t the first city that has had a water quality issue, but it certainly is the most publicized one in quite a long time.
So the calendar change from winter to spring is still a few weeks away, but I do have farmer’s markets on my mind. My local farmer’s market is already offering up goodies, and I can’t wait to return to my regular weekend visiting schedule. My favorite thing about farmer’s markets is that not only do I know exactly what I’m feeding myself (and my loved ones), but I’m also doing my part to help farmers and other producers in my community. I have purchased some items that were tastier and of a higher quality – by far – than what I have found in the average supermarket, and the cost was not that much more than what one might think. I touched on farmer’s markets in my post last year about being a locavore. I am thrilled to see the ongoing fervor surrounding the markets and CSAs as well. You can find more information about the Lexington Farmer’s Market here.
Um, so…apparently there’s wood pulp in commercial grated parmesan cheese? No you’re not hallucinating, and neither was I, although I thought I was when I read the article about it. Bloomberg News had a report on it, as did many other outlets. The story is that they did some study on the content of popular brands of grated parmesan cheese and discovered that a lot of them contained a percentage (albeit a fractional one) of wood pulp as a filler. As one might expect, the brands that were on the higher end (large name brands, not store or generic brands) did not contain as much – if any – pulp as others. And of course, there is no concern if you’re into buying whole, fresh pieces of Parmeggiano Reggiano and grating or shaving them yourself. So there’s a little something else of which we consumers get to be mindful.
I also want to throw in a last minute Honorable Mention. A lot of you probably know about Stonefire Naan Crisps already. I know they’ve been around for awhile, but if you happened to have not encountered them before, or saw them in the supermarket but thought to yourself, “Eh, it’s just another snack cracker/chippy-type thing,” well think again. These things are amazing. They are a little bit higher on the sodium, but they are extremely low in sugar and have no trans fats. And they’re baked, so they’re not greasy or heavy. So if you happen to over indulge (who me? Never!), you won’t have that heavy, unpleasant feeling afterward. And at less than $2 for a big ol’ 7oz. bag, it’s like you’re stealing them – but without that pesky rap sheet!
There you have it guys, all the latest items that have been rattling around in my brain. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite things have been this month, or any food-related topics that have been of interest to you!