Bi-son Curious?

Recent visits to markets near the White House and Silver Spring reveal a serious problem: It would be very difficult to put together a full meal for a family of four based on the selections available. Many items were exotic, not staples. Ground bison was running at $6.25 per pound, and ham retailed at $7.95 per pound. Hunting for side dishes was also a problem. Since prices varied by vendor, it took a keen eye and comparison shopping to find the best deals. One vendor charged $4.50 for approximately four asparagus spears, while another stall sold two hefty bundles for $7. A meal for four people consisting of 2 pounds of ham, two containers of baby potatoes, and two baskets of spinach retailed close to $34. Even with double dollars, at $15 it still may prove to be a stretch.

Better Farmers Markets | The American Prospect

Bison is pretty yummy, but yeah—how are you going to feed a family at those prices? Not so much. I recommend the whole piece.

We Could All Learn Something From Pennsylvania, It Seems

The Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program is a federally-funded service that gives recipients of the Women, Infants, and Children food supplement program extra benefits that can be spent at farmer’s markets. (There is also a program for seniors.)  I’m not sure about this one. It sounds great, but when you read the fine print it’s so little money—families can only receive between $10 and $30 annually. That’s like, one trip to the farmer’s market, if your state participates. (List of participating states and assistance levels here.)

But check out Pennsylvania! With 1,148 participating markets, this wee state accounts for almost half of the 2,662 markets nationwide. Furthermore, the Food Trust operates in more than 30 markets, all located in low-income neighborhoods or those underserved by supermarkets and other traditional food outlets. They all accept EBT (aka food stamps). These people are doing it! They also run school programs and all manner of good things, like the Healthy Corner Store initiative. This is grassroots shit. I donated!

(By way of comparison, of the 44 or so Greenmarkets in Brooklyn, only half accept EBTs)


I have no idea what this image is, I found it on a website called geekadelphia, and I love Benjamin Franklin, so there you go.

This Is Really Going To Screw Up My Authenticity

Apparently some of the folks at farmer’s market’s aren’t even farmers! The Wall Street Journal says that some produce vendors at your local greenmarket might just be folksy resellers who stocked up outside the city. Let’s call them fauxmers. Some markets are setting up inspection committees (like the Rembrandt committee?) to weed out these modern-day Bartles and Jaymes types. I’m personally hoping for a Clark Rockefeller scenario to play out, with the requisite “Law & Order” to follow.

I have gotten nearly every obsession of mine into the blog lately. Soon it won’t be about foodies at all, just my musings on culture.