After work I stopped by the only farmer’s market in the city that doesn’t close before I get out of work, and was pleasantly surprised to find some good vegetable still around, and the farmers eager to dispose of the produce. I think I walked away with ten pounds of corn, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes, for five dollars. I also acquired home-made sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh honey. It’s a good thing I waited to go shopping till I had the weekend off, to cook all of this.
I have a bad habit of flipping through the Living section of the newspaper when I go to the medical library, and there’ve been all these articles lately about the joys and virtues of cooking and eating fresh, local produce (the Slow Food movement, or something like that). Apparently it is only virtuous to eat fresh food if it has been produced within a twenty-mile radius of your abode.
I personally like this honey because it tastes good, not because it was made by bees flying over fields a couple of miles from here. (In fact, given the level of pollution, perhaps it would be better if it originated farther away.)
I’m not sure whether to label as puritanical or hedonistic the fallacy that it is right to eat good food simply because the good food was grown nearby. Somehow epicureanism is now the new virtue, because it is supposed to “help the planet” if you promote local horticulture.
I’ll be going back to this farmer’s market because the food is good, it’s close, and it’s cheap. Not because I think I’m saving the panda bears, improving the ozone layer, decreasing the rate of decline of the polar ice caps (which actually aren’t declining, by latest reports). Invisible hand, anyone? (Adam Smith, 1776, Wealth of Nations)