The winter, more than any other season, is a time when many Americans eat more packaged, processed foods as local farmer's markets dwindle and access to fresh produce is often limited to factory farmed crops shipped in from far away. It's cold and dark out, and if cooking isn't your strong point, it's easy to get sucked into the convenience of prepackaged, non-local foods.
I recently read a post on Farmer's Market titled Forgotten Food: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From, How to Cook It and What It Tastes Like that gives a brief synopsis of Ann Vileisis' Kitchen Literacy. This book chronicles America's food system, from its beginnings in 1700s agrarian society to the broken and disconnected monstrosity that it is today. As it turns out, America's transition from a society that had immense accumulated food knowledge to a nation where people often say food comes from "the grocery store" wasn't an easy one. Our ancestors fought against much of the commercialization and industrialization of food, leaving us a legacy not of complacency, but of activism. We owe it to ourselves and to our rich heritage to become reacquainted with where our food comes from, how to prepare it, and what it should taste like.
It is in this spirit that we started our Winter Food Project. After all, if we can develop a more personal relationship with our food in the toughest and leanest of seasons, we can do it at any time of the year. I encourage you to check out the resources available on our Winter Food Project page, and visit a winter farmer's market in your area. Access to whole, local food doesn't have to be seasonal, and we don't have to sacrifice flavor and nutrition just because it's wintertime.