Several weeks back I noticed a blog post from New York Times food writer Mark Bittman about visiting the San Joaquin Valley for a story. That story posted today, so I thought I would share the link and see what Beehive readers think about his observations on Valley farming and food sustainability. Here’s an excerpt that explains his visit.
I came to the valley both by choice and by mandate. In preparation for the magazine’s Food and Drink Issue, I asked readers to suggest my assignment. They could send me anywhere they wanted, within limitations of climate and jet lag. After reviewing the suggestions, it became clear that readers wanted an article that incorporated big farming, small farming, sustainability, politics, poverty and, of course, truly delicious food — and in the United States, if possible. So I decided to head to the Central Valley, where all of this was already happening. This also happened to satisfy a curiosity of mine. From a desk in New York, it’s impossible to fathom 50 m.p.h. carrots, hills of almonds, acres of basil and millions of tomatoes all ripening at once. How can all of this possibly work?
It’s an interesting read and insightful perspective from someone who spends his life thinking and writing about food. I especially like how he weaves in details and observations about people and places he visited in Fresno. (He even includes recipes from Mark Arax and Denesse Willey.) And he raises some important questions about how we grow food and treat our land.
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