Editor’s Letter

It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.

~Meryl Streep

What we eat is such a huge part of our identity. For past generations food choices were based on availability and what was served at the dinner table said a great deal about where and how people lived.

These days, our food habits still say a great deal about who we are, although less about availability and more about personal choice. Eating blueberries in the middle of winter has come to feel as normal as eating apples in the fall. Beyond wondering about the effect of food on our bodies; calories, fat content, vitamins, we have been evolving a consciousness of eating. We have started asking questions like who is growing our food and how? Oaxaca is still one of those places where people’s diet is very much connected to the land. In most villages each householder grows their own corn which will keep them in tortillas when the growing season is done.

In this issue we explore food choices and where our food comes from. Alvin Starkman looks at the organic food movement while Carole Reedy explores restaurants in Mexico City. I hope Doreen Woelfel’s article on Oaxacan coffee will give you pause to ask yourself the next time you are in Starbuck’s ordering a tall skinny latte, ‘where is my food coming from?’

On May 25th, an estimated two million people across 50 countries participated in the global March Against Monsanto. In Mexico City, 2,000 participants gathered in for the Carnaval del Maíz , a “Carnival of Corn” to celebrate Mexico’s rich diversity of native corn, threatened by Monsanto’s plans to introduce a genetically modified variety of the crop. Mexico is the global center of origin of maize. Despite the warnings of scientists, producers and consumers, the past administration of Felipe Calderon authorized open-air cultivation of GM corn in the experimental and pilot phases. In 2011, Monsanto and other transnationals filed for permits to cultivate commercial GM corn on more than a million hectares in Sinaloa and Tamaulipas in the northern part of the country. Apparently the government did not respond to the requests during the allotted time period. But Monsanto raised the stakes this season, applying in March for more than 11 million hectares for commercial cultivation in the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango. Yikes! What will this mean for the future food supply in Mexico.

More than ever you are what you eat….let us choose wisely.

See you next month,

Jane

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