We are what we eat, as the saying goes. So it follows that if we want to be healthy, we should buy healthy foods. And for foods to be healthy, the earth they grow in also needs to be in good health. This might seem like Ecology 101, but it's what many supermarket shoppers are grappling with nowadays as they try to decide what to feed the family.
"The Eco-Foods Guide "is a lively conversation with consumers that takes the gloom out of our grocery choices and empowers shoppers to vote with their food dollars for the environment and for a safe future for their grandchildren. Frankenfoods and more have made food shopping so frightening and complex that the result has often been paralysis or denial. But in this optimistic and even humorous jaunt through the topic, sustainable agriculture expert Cynthia Barstow encourages readers to walk away bubbling with opportunities to buy what's best--most of the time--and to even engage with the many others working to effect change in agriculture.
In a straightforward style, "The Eco-Foods Guide "ex-amines the downside: pesticides and growth hormones, biotechnology and processed foods, manufacturing concentration and animal husbandry, and the overuse of nonrenewable resources. At the same time, it highlights alternatives and solutions, including:
- Eating seasonally
- Buying local
- Reforming school cafeteria menus
- Shopping at farmer's markets
- Eating at Chef's Collaborative restaurants
- Supporting labeling, organic, and IPM production methods
- Regarding our food again as sacred
Cynthia Barstow is adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts and an environmental/sustainable agriculture marketing consultant and speaker. Previously VP of marketing for a $3 billion Manhattan restaurant, her clients have included the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Wisconsin Madison "Protected Harvest" eco-label program.