Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Food then and now

When I was growing up, my mother bought our meat and poultry at the A&P or the Piggly Wiggly, with little a thought other than getting the best bargain.  No one had heard of words like “organic” or “free-range” back then.  We were probably all ingesting DDT with no knowledge of what it might do to us.
My husband’s family actually had their meat and poultry delivered to their house.  His mother cooked the exact same menu every single week.  If it was Monday, they ate breaded veal cutlets;  Tuesday was lamb chops; etc.  The meat was all kosher, so there was no pork and only certain cuts of beef, lamb, and veal.
We had migrated to Whole Foods several years ago.  Then we read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and switched to Polyface for our meat, poultry, and eggs (when we can get them).  We have a choice of driving 150 miles to the farm to pick up our food or meeting up with the delivery man at one of several drop-off points in the metropolitan area on a monthly basis.
He comes in a huge blue and white vehicle loaded with coolers of frozen food and eggs.  You can check out what they offer on the Polyface website.  Today I arrived to find my food was in cooler “K”.  

The prices are comparable to those at Whole Foods, even including the small delivery fee.  The food consistently tests near zero for bacterial content.  And it’s all delicious.  I’m not sure why I should feel any better about eating an animal that was totally content while it was alive, but I do.
The eggs have been in short supply lately, probably because they have all been bought up by people like me who are addicted to them.  Here’s something from their website extolling the virtues of those little eggs with their perky yellows and non-runny whites:
Polyface eggs really are the best in the world! 
The below study from Mother Earth News compares Polyface Eggs with the USDA standard egg:
  • Polyface Farm vitamin E: 7.37 mg
    USDA vitamin E: 0.97 mg
  • Vitamin A: 763 IU
    USDA vitamin A: 487 IU
  • Beta carotene: 76.2 mcg
    USDA beta carotene: 10 mcg
  • Folate: 10200 mcg
    USDA folate: 47 mcg
  • Omega-3s: 0.71 g
    USDA omega-3s: 0.033g
  • Cholesterol: 292 mg
    USDA cholesterol: 423 mg
  • Saturated Fat: 2.31 g
    USDA saturated fat: 3.1 g
Would I be able to pick them out in a blind taste test?  Possibly not, but the knowledge of how much better they are for me makes me want to stock up before the 8-month delivery season ends.
Our freezer is full.  The CSA share this week was bountiful, including even a little basil plant to grow on our window sill.  We can be fat and happy (or at least well fed) for some time to come!


Blogger e said...

That basil plant looks very healthy. I hope you enjoy.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Our next door neighbour is an old-fashioned farmer with a very small farmyard, and I love to see his chickens roam freely beneath his apple and pear trees. The rooster wakes us in the morning, and sometimes the hens run wild and cackle when he is after them AGAIN. It is an idyllic life, and I just LOVE their eggs. I think I do taste the difference! And it makes me happy to know their moms.

4:57 AM  

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