Tracie McMillan adapted this essay in part from her reporting for The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. She is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and a 2013 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan . You can follow her @TMMcMillan.
A few months ago, a small farmer in the Northeast approached me at a conference, intense and red-faced. How could I say that Americans shouldn’t pay more for their food?
She sold lettuce and beets to well-heeled women, their ears dangling gold and fingers sporting diamonds. Yet many of them balked at the prospect of paying an extra dollar per pound. To grow her food without extensive chemicals, and to sell her wares at market, she needed to fetch a higher price. Surely, couldn't these women could pay more?
Well, yes, I conceded, those women could probably afford to pay more. That doesn’t mean we have to. Because it’s not the farmers who get most of the money we spend on food. It’s everyone who's standing past the farm gate.
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Go green - August 8 is National Zucchini Day!
Though technically a fruit, zucchini are prepared like vegetables. The emerald green squash, if left to its own devices, can grow up to 3 feet long. In fact, the longest zucchini ever grown was 6 feet 4 inches long!
Courgettes, as zucchini is known in some parts of the world, are a good source of dietary fiber nutrients. They can be prepared in a variety of ways. If you’re tired of the simple squash sauté, try making zucchini boats. Split the zucchini in half lengthways, and scoop out some of the flesh. Fill the hollowed out shell with whatever you’d like: Sausage, goat cheese and peppers are a popular combination. You can even incorporate the scooped out zucchini into your mixture. Top the boats off with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven until golden brown.
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