Monday, November 06, 2006

From: Whining & Dining

Farmer's market lives!

The official Memphis Farmers Market is shuttered for the season, but a few purveyors are gathering on Saturdays outside Cafe Francisco on North Main.

Bought some beautiful salad greens, baby spinach and pea vines from my favorite Mississippi gentleman farmer/NWA airline pilot... chefs, take note: this is amazing stuff!

And the meat man was there... last Saturday, I ran into the Squirrels (their blog comment handle), who inspired me with their mission of roasting soup bones they bought from the meat man. Sadly, he didn't have any this trip, but we chewed the fat.

I asked about how he raised his cattle, and he said they grazed on grass to 700 pounds, then finished off with corn. I said something about cows were not really meant to eat corn, and he said: "You read 'Omnivore's Dilemma' didn't you?" Guilty!

What he said made some sense, and I appreciate his good practices, especially dry-aging the beef... something very few processors do.

That reminded me of a conversation I had earlier in the week with food editor Jennifer Biggs about the distinction between food that's grown or raised under strict organic rules, and crops/animals done old-school... something people refer to as authentic. It's a complex world out there, with corporations in the organic biz... I still cannot bring myself to buy packaged spinach... well, except from the man from Holly Springs. Go see him next Saturday!

What about you? Are you steering away from certain foods because of the way they're raised/grown? Or, is it a matter of price?

Posted by Leslie Kelly

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