Farm to Plate in Paris
Or as my twin sister often says : Farm to Fork!
When you live in a big city, and time for good food is short, it is so nice to know that the good food can come to us. And it was quite by surprise that I saw a farm stand at my local train station in the middle of Paris, on my way home from work one recent evening in April.
The store Les Poireaux de Marguerite, has branched out their activity to offer their products to people who are well out of the vicinity of their store (which is located at 51 rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris). The gruff yet charming Frenchman with the friendliest attitude attracted several of us passengers as we exited the train station. 10€ for what they call the “Vegetarien” basket which is a heap of season fruits and veggies from the farms they work with. The in-store price seems to be 14€, and I am not sure why the slight price drop at the train station stand, but I am not going to protest!
There was also a “Gourmand” basket also for 10€. I remained reasonable and stuck to the leafy stuff.
They have a list of the farms and producers they work with available on their website. My only grumble if I had to have one, would be the lack of organic labeled farms. But not all farms here in France have been corrupted by Monsanto and the like yet… I say yet, because there is a big danger that it could happen soon with the ACTA – TAFTA – and most recently the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) being negotiated behind closed doors which they claim will aim “at removing trade barriers in a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US.” But really it is going to allow entities to take away our right to privacy and our right to chose what we want to consume. Regulations will change everything. Entities like Monsanto will b able to swoop down and devour farming as we know it in France, and all those culinary/food quality values that France is so well known for will be squashed into the ground. I won’t stand on my soapbox for long on this post, but please go read these reports, and educate yourselves on what is about to happen in Europe. Here’s the Wikipedia article on TTIP for the basics, and here is an article from The Guardian explaining the dangers.
Recently I was eating some trail mix, and I ate a raisin that literally tasted like bleach. BLEACH. Raisins shouldn’t taste like bleach. But they can, thanks to regulations and “standards” on food growers and distribution companies that feel the need to sterilize and irradiate all foods for us so they are “safe” to eat (oh and have a longer shelf life = more profit for agro-alimentation companies). The FDA “explains” irradiation here. Read it if you can stomach the lies. I had no idea it was safe to eat bleach, and doesn’t radiation do very harsh things to human cells? Doesn’t sound safe to me. The label on the bleach bottle I have under my sink says it’s not for consumption. Hmmm….I wonder how so many centuries and centuries of humans survived all those millennium without food radiation and sterilization?!?!? Pfffftttt.
So all that sterilizing and irradiating, has now taken out ALL of the nutritional qualities in our food. We might as well just eat sand, that should fill us up.
So, rant over… but please go enjoy some of your fresh GMO free food while you can and support businesses like Les Poireaux de Marguerite! And support local growers in your area, heirloom farms and products and non-GMO foods, foods that are not sterilized and good green produce. People like Kristen of The Kale project work towards similar goals like these in France, and organisations like Cape Cod Heirloom Farms work towards bringing pure food to the local consumers. My friend Laurel at Trieze also is an avid supporter of organic foods, and serves them up daily on her lunch menu in Paris. Here’s a business that provides a little education in addition to quality meat products in Texas. Learn about the Non-GMO project. There’s Farm to Fork in Kentucky too that is dedicated to heirloom and handcrafted foods. England too is working towards educating children on where food comes from. And in Hamburg, Germany our friends at Der Bocksbeutal sell small vineyard wines from the Franconian wine region (Chéri and I are huge fans) and they also have lots of delicious products such as sausages and patés from farms that take great care in raising healthy and happy beasts. (You can see some of my photography on their website too!)
Take it upon yourselves to find businesses like these in your area. Be active in promoting healthy and safe foods.
Food. It’s what keeps us alive. Shouldn’t we know a little more about what exactly we are eating??? Sometimes too much science goes into what we eat, and it becomes something other than nutritious. The human body needs centuries, or maybe millennium to evolve and adapt to diet change. But what happens now in scientific advancement changes our food at a mind-blowing rate. The human organism cannot sustain the pressure to change according to the science in our plates. Food is how we keep ourselves functioning and healthy, not just a substance to fill our bellies when we are hungry!
Ok, so maybe the rant wasn’t really quite over.
Bon appétit while you can.
Quality beef in Texas! Just this week I read Texas made the number 1 worst state to eat/shop for food due to its low number of organic farms and producers. Texas is home for us, but we are ashamed of its reputation when it comes to organic variety.
I feel as you do about the growing uncertainty of food production. My husband and I feel so strongly about food choices that when we move (he is in the military) we base our decision of where to go on the food culture. We loved Maine and its food so much, we are in the process of buying an old 50 acre farm to one day do our own thing with….BnB farm stays and harvest dinners!
You are doing something very smart in investing in your own land for food growing, because soon we will have so little choice in what we eat, toxins will be allowed in everything everywhere if our governments aren’t smart about it.