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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Farmers' Market Season is Here!

The Farmers' Market season is here. Although the season doesn't officially start until June, there have been smaller "pop-up markets" already, sponsored by the Coventry Regional Farmers Market. Last weekend we had a great time at Topmost Herb Farm in Coventry. Even though its early in the growing season, there were farmers selling organic greens and vegetables. Grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and pork were available as well.

Today we attended the second pop up market of the season in Willimantic. We enjoyed beautiful weather and strolled from vendor to vendor. We came home with local honey, organic fruits and vegetables and a box of seedlings! Afterwards we drove to Graywall Farm in Lebanon for the Mystic Cheese Company's Grilled Cheese Get Down. We got to tour the farm (one of the Farmer's Cows farms), eat an amazing grilled cheese sandwich and enjoy the Farmer's Cow Ice Cream.

We find that we can get all the produce we need at our weekly markets. The cost ends up being the same or less than our grocer store. This year we bought CSA shares for produce with New Mercies Farm in Lyme. We also bought a CSA share for pasture raised chicken with the Wooly Pig and for raw milk at Deerfield Farms in Durham. Finally we purchased a side of grass fed beef from the Savage Hill Cattle Company in Berlin. Hopefully we will only need our grocery store for sundries!

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that Jeanine and I always want to know where our food comes from. We make it a point to know where our restaurants source their ingredients. Obviously this doesn't stop when we are home. With the resurgence of farming in Connecticut, we have the opportunity to meet the people growing and producing our food. We believe that this is the only way to be healthy. 

Here are two of our regular markets. Old Lyme Farmers Market at Ashlawn Farm, Old Lyme Saturdays 9-12:30 and the Coventry Regional Farmers Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead, Sundays 11-2. You can find a listing of local markets at the CT NOFA website. See you there!



















Sunday, May 4, 2014

Technology...

I admit that I am a techie. I make a living with technology. As a cardiac Electrophysiologist I work with some of the most advanced technology in the hospital from pacemakers and defibrillators to three dimensional mapping systems. All of this technology is designed to help sick patients. Unfortunately, none of this cool technology can be used to prevent illness.

This generation has seen the most amazing advances in medical technology. We are able to quickly treat heart attacks with stents. We can treat arrhythmias with ablations and we can prevent sudden cardiac death with implantable defibrillators. So why is this the first generation to experience a reduction in the average life span? 

The food industry changed dramatically with the advent of fast food restaurants requiring huge quantities of mass produced food products. Technology advanced to meet the demand, creating food products such as diet sodas, high fructose corn syrup and the infamous "pink slime" used in fast food meat. Our grocery stores stock high tech processed foods on every aisle. These changes in the food industry have been linked to the rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

Food technology has created major health problems for us. Medical technology has kept up and helps us to treat these problems. How do we prevent these problems in the first place? Let's move away from food technology. This summer, join a CSA. Purchase your food from a local farmer. Stay away from processed foods. A good rule to follow is that if it came from the earth, it's OK to eat. If it came from a factory, stay away. 
 
It's OK to be a techie. Enjoy your high tech gadgets. Use and embrace technology. Just don't eat it!