farmer’s market dilemma!

Chef Emma’s Blog

I was recently at the Farmer’s Market and a thought occurred to me.I was looking at all the stands claiming Organic, Pesticide free, Natural etc – all words that denote the goodness we have come to desire, expect & want from our farm fresh produce – but how do you evaluate these claims? A trip to the FDA.

I know that the spirit of farm-to-table and locavore producing is the drive behind the farmers market movement ,and most farmers live up to their impression ofan honest, hard working farmer + grower,but who is regulating the claims individual farmers make about how they produce? Is it really true that our families are not being fed chemicals, pesticides or GMO ingredients?

Please don’t get me wrong — I am 100% behind the farmers market movement, even though not everything is available in a certified organic capacity; but when someone says to you “oh we are beyond organic “ but has no certification to prove it, what does that mean?

Of course I am going to continue to shop at all our local farmers’ markets for both myself & foodinkcatering: not just for the amazing produce but to support the diversity of the farms & producers represented — but I feel my only recourse to investigate these claims of chemical free growing is to travel to the farms and check it out for myself!Who knows where the time will come but hopefully soon.We are going to start by visiting one of our favourite suppliers in Los Angeles: Country Fresh Produce, based in Encino.We get our amazing fresh herbs, flower garnishes, leaf salads & even heirloom produce like sweet 100 tomatoes, zucchini flowers etc from them!More to come on that! Though not completely organic, we love the sustainability & locavore nature of the farm for all our clients in Los Angeles.And, of course – they don’t claim they are organic – just local!!

Organic Consumers Association has great articles on this whole concept, and we encourage you to investigate.