Dear Farmers To You Families,
I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunny spring day and as I drove in to work, I found myself thinking about the amazing foods our farmers are now harvesting — the fresh greens, the tender herbs, the tart rhubarb and more. Thinking about the arrival of spring greens, herbs and vegetables and the turning of our attention to warm weather cooking and meals, I could not help but think of all those fresh flavors and the importance of flavor in our lives. Flavor is joy and it is pleasure, but it is also — not surprisingly — a mark of quality, freshness and even nutrition. That’s right, nutrition.
Have you ever been surprised by the intense flavor of a particular piece of food? An apple, a carrot, a bite of chicken or fish, or a slice of bread? If the answer to that is “eh, I’m not sure,” then you are missing a lot more than just a good experience. What you’re missing is nutrition. You see, flavor is a marker for nutrition.
Flavor is not just some extra feature for your enjoyment; flavor lets your body know that this food is nutrient dense and very clean. When parents tell me that their children don’t like vegetables, or that they must smother them in cheese or sauce before they will be eaten, then I know they are not purchasing quality food. Fruits and vegetables available at the supermarket are woefully lacking in flavor and nutrition because of how they are grown. To get deep, rich flavor and therefore deep, healing nutrition, you need healthy soil. Plants that are not grown in clean, healthy soil, plants that are grown industrially, hydroponically, and using other shortcut methods that try to replace what only nature can offer, will develop little to no flavor. For children this is especially problematic because their sense of smell and taste is still so strong. Children can taste the metallic, bitter, and salty flavors that dominate food not grown in healthy soil and sprayed with toxins.
Our industrial food system was designed to supply massive supermarket chains that need cheap food that will also last the long journey to their shelves. Food grown for supermarkets is lacking in nutrition and is not clean of the myriad of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones that must be used on unhealthy plants and animals.
As new crops become available from our local New England farms, I encourage you to try them all and take the time to taste and note the difference in the food from our farms. Notice the difference in the flavor — how sweet our spinach is, now intensely flavorful our herbs are, and how much pure asparagus flavor is in each stalk of our juicy, crisp asparagus. Clean, local, grown in quality soil and harvested within just days of your receiving it, this food is full of life and replete with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Only when produced this way will food have truly exceptional flavor.
Enjoy this great food, and if you have time, let me know what you and your children are enjoying the most this season.