You’re reading this in “spring.” I’m writing to you from the middle of a blizzard, a February nor’easter, in a shaky and uncertain time in America. I can’t even imagine what the world looks like for you, out there in the future. Here, back in February, it’s kind of a mess.
Never in my lifetime has Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” seemed as relevant as it does today: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone… they took all the trees, put ’em in a tree museum… give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, please!” So far, 2017 has brought mass demonstrations, protests, boycotts and marches unlike anything we’ve seen since the anti-war movement of the late 1960s. What is it they say about history repeating itself?
As a food magazine, we tend to view our nation’s politics through a food-related lens. In just a few short weeks we’ve been reminded that people seeking refuge and a better life in our country don’t always have the means to arrive here legally, but they do fuel our economy—especially our food economy. We’ve been reminded that multiculturalism has always made our nation great; we are all immigrants, after all, having brought with us our diverse flavors and tastes to add to the melting pot. Without the influence of immigrants, what would the American diet be? And we’ve been reminded that in order to grow clean and sustainable food the environment needs laws to protect it, and that safe food and clean water are rights, not privileges.
So we stand with immigrants and refugees, with women and minorities, with the Earth and clean water and air. And we pledge to tell their stories and highlight their places in our local food system because, for us, in the end it always comes back to food. A strong local food system can sustain our region in troubling times. Support your farmers, fishermen and restaurant workers, no matter their immigration status or country of origin. Imagine what the world would look like without the important work they do. I look forward to bringing some of these topics to light in future issues.
But as I sit here on this snowy day, longing for the warmth of spring and a calmer, saner world, I hope this sunny issue of Edible Boston brings you a bit of diversion from the chaos, a moment away from it all. Put your feet up, turn off the news and read about ice cream, bagels, a beer-making dairy farm and a lesson in historical cooking at a living museum. Get inspired by our friend Edgar Stewart’s gorgeous illustrations of the season’s best ingredients. Read up on the latest in salad-growing technology and enter the debate about what community-supported agriculture really means nowadays. Cook vibrant spring greens, poach a chicken with early market vegetables, whip up your own homemade dairy products, plan a spring picnic or gather your friends for an herb-infused cocktail or two. Read about a local chocolate maker, a school lunch delivery service and an imported Vietnamese super fruit made into juice, right here in Boston.
And if you’re looking for a positive way to give back to your community after reading our Q+A with the CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, volunteer with that exceptional organization or start a food bank of your own.
And as always, I hope you’ll pledge to #EatLocalMA as much as you can this growing season. Legions of small businesses—and your taste buds—will thank you!
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, vegetable gardener and managing editor of Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org