I am writing from home, sandwiched between a heavily flowering magnolia to my left and a lovely Victorian house to my right that is being bulldozed to shreds, now looking a lot like a spilled can of Potato Stix. I imagine all of the thousands of meals that were served up in that 110 year-old kitchen; many cooked without modern conveniences...like indoor plumbing. Just thought that needed noting.
You don't need me to tell you that everything is political; even the food that we so innocently eat. The Food and Drug Administration, which once upon a time was created to insure consumer safety, now seems to operate as a branch of the wild and wooly industries it was built to protect us from. A notable incident several years ago allowed industrial milk farms to add Bovine Growth Hormone to milk cows in an effort to stimulate milk production. (BGH is banned in Canada and Australia, and limited in the EEU) Organic and non-organic farmers who tried to label their untreated milk 'free of BGH' were forced to jump through incredible hoops and maintain terrific paper trails in an attempt to thwart labeling. Our government protested that farms using BGH feared that their milk would look tainted (p.s.- IT IS!) and consumers would choose the hormone free milk and wreak havoc on the milk industry.
Presently, Creekstone Farms in Kansas is suing the USDA to be allowed to test every head of cattle for Mad Cow Disease. Current government monitored testing reaches only 1% of the American cattle market. Healthy cows are not routinely tested, only downed and dead cattle are checked. Apparently the Feds are afraid of what the testing may reveal about out "healthy" cattle industry. More cows tested would lead to proportionally higher percentage rates of disease and destroy consumer confidence in red meat.
In the 1996 4th generation Montana cattle rancher and dairy farmer Howard F. Lyman wrote a book on his experiences shifting the old-fashioned family farm over to a mass feed operation. I found Mad Cowboy, The Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat a fascinating read and so apparently did La Oprah. Lyman's fellow ranchers didn't, and sued him and Oprah. On an unrelated note, The National Cattleman's Beef Association believes 'the evidence of global warming has been inconclusive at best...'. That must be where George W. gets his scientific data.
I suppose this would be the time in my introduction to out myself as a card carrying 'crazy-person'. I say this because I still have hope that the government isn't privately owned by subversive industries, using the power of democracy to disassemble the free market. 'Hippie' might be a more accurate self-portrayal, although not the daisies-in-the-hair kind of hippie, more of a Black Panther kind of hippie. I'm angry that his great nation doesn't allow us all a hormone-free chicken in every pot, responsible health care and affordable housing. On that note, here is a fab and super easy TURKEY CHILI recipe. The fire roasted tomatoes are the secret ingredient.
The Easiest Turkey Chili
* 1/2 lb. organic ground turkey, light meat
* 1/2 lb. organic turkey, dark meat
* 2 28 oz. cans of Muir Glen organic Fire Roasted diced tomatoes
* 1 14.5 oz can of Muir Glen organic Fire Roasted diced tomatoes with medium green chiles
* 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
* 1 15 oz can of pinto beans, drained. I use Trader Joe's organic beans, they are pretty cheap and preservative free.
* 1 yellow onion
* several cloves of garlic, chopped
* olive oil
* dried parsley, basil, sea salt
Saute the onion in several tablespoons of olive oil. When the onion is soft add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the ground turkey and cook slowly. Once it is free of raw meat add the tomatoes and beans. Crush dried parsley, basil and salt to taste. Cook this for at least 30 minutes. I cool half of it right away and freeze it. It thaws and reheats perfectly. Grate some cheese, and serve with rice, polenta, or cornbread.