Obviously I love food. Cooking food. Shopping for food. Learning about food. Talking to farmers. Meeting cheese makers. Reading about food. Trying new restaurants. Talking to cooks. Developing recipes. Eating food. Food is fascinating. Food is Life.
Here are several decisions I have made over the years to guide me through my culinary journey:
1. Whenever possible, buy local, buy in-season, buy sustainable. This significant choice allows you to enjoy the best and freshest food, it supports your local farmer and your meal has a smaller carbon footprint.
2. Choose organic foods. I feel this is a very important choice, especially in highly concentrated foods such as milk and eggs - so when possible, I always buy organic.
3. Try to buy local meats or from sustainable ranchers. But educate yourself too. Organic chickens do not spend their days happily wandering the barnyard, scratching for grain tossed from Granny's apron. They are usually raised in stadium-sized barns with thousands of other birds in massive growing operations owned by major corporations. However, the chickens are not in cages - they have access to the outdoors, fresh air, clean water and organic, hormone and antibiotic-free grain. You will taste the difference and it is not unusual to find a 5 pound chicken from an organic producer.
4. Recycle. Think about packaging as you cruise the grocery aisles. Is the container recyclable? Reusable? Re-use your grocery bags or use cloth bags.
5. Know what you are eating. Read labels. A long list of unpronounceable ingredients is a sure danger signal.
6. Eat nothing containing high fructose corn syrup. The dang stuff is everywhere - it is difficult to avoid this chemically-altered sweetener.
7. That said, never consume artificial sweeteners. (Note the word "artificial".)
8. Eat nothing containing partially hydrogenated oils. Another lab-altered fat. I've decided the human body was just not designed to digest this stuff, so it all ends up on our tuches. Avoid.
9. A girl needs a little chocolate sometimes. Keeps us sweet.
10. I saved the best for last: I thank G-d every day for plopping me down on this abundant planet.
- Terry Taylor