IMG_0553Makin’ Groceries nowadays is a tough thing to do. Walk into any local grocer and you may find yourself feeling like you are in a horror movie: contorted faces and a few sighs or even gasps. All the drama you may be witnessing is over the cost of food and other necessary household items-maybe even you catch yourself having those exact same mannerisms like we do sometimes.

According to the media this past week food prices are on the rise again. There several reasons for spikes in the economy of food supply and demand. Some predictions are that long after the recession is ‘over’ the habits we have changed during this (that) time is expected to have a lasting effect.  However, it seems that watching or reading the news is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. Do this but don’t do this. Grow your own food but worry about lead which by all means is important concern but the recent NY Times article bounces back and forth between:

“Harmful even at very low doses, lead is surprisingly prevalent and persistent in urban and suburban soil. Dust from lead-tainted soil is toxic to inhale, and food grown in it is hazardous to eat.

Thanks in part to the influence of the local-food movement and to economic considerations, more households in the United States plan, like the Obamas, to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year. . . seven million more households than prior years. . .

Soil is likely to contain high levels of lead if it is near any structure built before 1978, when lead-based paint was taken off the market, or if a building of that vintage was ever demolished on the site. Pesticides containing lead were often used on fruit trees, so land close to old orchards is also of concern. And beware of soil around heavily trafficked roadways; it, too, is probably laced with lead. But environmental engineers and soil experts said any place is potentially tainted.”

That’s just the first page. It almost felt like we were re-living the last eight soil_art_workyears of lives: be afraid, be very afraid.

Okay so now we are afraid what are we supposed to do?

Continue to pay high prices for food with what seems like an ever shrinking wallet?

Grow your own food but be certain that somewhere lead or no lead there may be some other contaminants. Amendments will have to be made–requiring more work and learning about how stirring up the soil in your backyard may be potentially harmful to your children is enough to send anyone over the edge.

One answer may be to make better informed decisions (from sources you may not even like or trust but will help in the decision making process; digesting both sides of the story), make time to learn about gardening, cooking, and eating the food you may have grown or purchased. All of the work it takes to making and applying those decisions are much harder than going to the store to purchase your food.  Sometimes you have to remember there is no such thing a perfect or ideal environment and right now the American public demands control with transparency especially when it comes to food.

Fear and the media’s use of fear is a highly motivating factor so now is the time to take things into your own hands and Get Your Dig On!

For more thought provoking articles check out:

The Jew & the Carrot’s post about Planning Ahead for Sustainability’s Sake.

NY Times: Food Prices: Myth vs. Reality

NY Times: Glorious Food

And now for your weekly recipe and the Farms Map:

Week 31 Recipe:Mushroom Ragout

Week 31 Map:farmer map wk31