last week a friend brought a bag of Indiana peaches that were from the local market. I am wagering they were just picked and put in the bag as the flavor of the fruit was amazing. it wasn’t a Georgia or southern peach – rather something that reminded me more of Europe. a non GMO modified fruit, smaller in nature, and not sickeningly sweet with the sugars – firm, yet juicy and a treat to eat. in fact, it was hard to stop eating them.
fast forward to me remembering the peaches when I was in the local grocery store and seeing giant peaches that looked really good – so I bought some and had half of the fruit be firm, the other half a sloppy mess of juice that squirted all over my hand, and flavors that were more like eating raw sugar than a natural and delicious peach. it was easy to stop eating one after only half, yet, struggling to eat the rest as I don’t believe on should waste food.
what was the difference in the two?
one was grown by a farmer and not rushed to production based on a contract or commoditization of the product to look nice, be huge, and once you got past the surface…a mediocre quality sort of flavorless, yet sweet, fruit at best. of course if you never were on a farm or picked one, how would you know the difference?
the other was grown in an orchard, by a local farmer that gave the plant what it needed and took what mother nature gave it to create an amazing natural fruit that was picked and packaged the same day.
I still laugh each time I asked the one young lad in the inner city where food comes from and he responded, “the grocery store!”
his answer had me realize just how far away from the source the urban environment is. last night as I walked around New York, there were the folks all in the nice restaurants and private dining experiences filled with well-coiffed folks who I am guessing had their company pay for the meals with the corporate card.
I am not here to bash the corporate accounts, but I would love to know how many employees dine out the same way they do on their companies dime? would they do the same if they owned the company? or would they be a bit more frugal? you see this in business class on many flights – how many people are actually paying their own ticket?
I digress – as it was one summer in Paris France where my morning café break came by sitting across from a street where chef Christian constant has a row of restaurants, each specializing with a different form and specialty of cooking. I would marvel watching the teams all assemble each day and they did a strategy meeting of sorts to get on the page with whatever the menu was. here you had chefs, sous chefs, and the kitchen staff who appreciated and knew what great food quality was, and how to coax a bit more out of it with the techniques they used.
many times I wonder, “do the patrons really know how much effort goes into making the truly fine dining experience where from greetings, wait staff, cooking, and presentation all work together? or do they just go there because it has a good reputation and they read about it on their friends social media feed?
there is no reason the average American cannot eat great quality and healthy food, except that the commodification of food and convenience has diluted the quality to be processed and fast – usually containing two new food groups called the sugar and lard groups. then there is another reason – everything has to be bigger and larger. the idea of portion control must have gone the way of common sense in the country?
I do believe each person can have a supply of fresh greens (not a problem) and then one day, the ability to have their own year-round garden with root crops and such. maybe we are doing a reverse agrowbox in that we grow food based on what is nutritionally lacking with the various NGO’s and government handout programs. for example -if you get rice – what can you add to it to maximize healthy nutrition? what amazes me is the plant-based proteins have come a long way from 30 years ago in providing nutrition that is easier on the internal organs than other animal-based proteins.
the one area I worry about is in urban environments, you are going to see a lot of people really struggling and while the new mega cities will have towers and wonderful abodes for the superwealthy, I wager you are going to see more favelas and slums growing on a global level as well. what will the people do for a decent quality of life here?
that question was answered yesterday in some meetings where out of our resourcefulness in prototyping – an interesting solution came out for a decent life for all on this planet.
stay tuned. it’s pretty cool