Sometimes, the place where we need to be at is worth the walk.
There is a very quiet rumbling occurring at the moment involving the food community of Los Angeles and, I assume (as a result of society’s cumulative new thought regarding the food we eat) that this is a national issue as well…or will soon be.
Sustainable Food. This is a huge topic and I will bring some light to it now and then for my own educational purpose as well as for that of any actually reading this. Because, recently, I was in New York and realized that this is my responsibility as a person and as a citizen. I had a very engaging, passionate “conversation” (argument… depending on who you ask) regarding the responsibilities of the Pres (Obama), the citizens (us) and the notion of humanity (again, that would be us). I know, big stuff, but, it’s actually rather much more simple than we figure.
My side of the conversation, in short: “Obama inspired and instructed us all during the election because he understood that, once elected, he will need to go and do his job, and we will need to go and do ours. Obama is working but we are not.” (His response) “He needs to tell us what to do. I don’t know how to help.”
That’s when it hit me. Leadership is a structure of captains and servants. It’s a trickledown process. I don’t believe a leader needs to constantly encourage everyone at all times. They lead by example and the example trickles down through the seniority of management. I have been an activist for years now and I feel it is my responsibility, as a result of my educational experience, to share what I have learned. Hopefully, it’ll allow you to get pumped to share that mindset with others and be a leader yourself. ‘Cause, if you thiknk about it, all leading really entails is problem solving and the ability to teach it.
So, to anyone who has ever said or still claim that the people in this country do not have the power, all I can say to prove your thinking is incorrect are the words Supply & Demand. The success of Capitalism lies solely upon the consumer. Our power comes from our ability to live up to the grand notion of our responsibility.
Capitalism 101: Wal-mart opens. Prices are low, demand increases. Everyone chooses Wal-mart over 5 local stores. Wal-mart gets bigger, opens more stores, 5 local stores close. People stop buying from Wal-mart, place demand elsewhere. 5 small stores oven to cover demand, Wal-mart closes a few stores. People decide to stick with local store, demand for Wal-mart disappears, local stores cover costs as a direct result of increased business. Sustainable living allows community to thrive.
The argument to that is, although the concept is well and good, it costs more to shop locally. Well, that is where your (our) responsibility comes in to play. I really wanted to cover the Farmer’s Markets to use as an example. In many places, they are a bit more difficult to get to and cost a bit more to shop at. Yet, those of you (us) who refuse to go there also are growing incredibly impatient with the way our current food supply is manufactured. What we have forgotten is that we, as Americans, have the opportunity for all the freedom’s we desire, but, what is one man’s heaven is another man’s hell. We are not entitled to those freedoms, we are required to work for them, to create them, constantly. We have lost that same discipline that allowed us to be the notion of what we are.
So, with that, here is my challenge…Buy from Farmer’s Markets (locally grown pr organic ones ONLY) and/or invest in a CPA. AND, make sure to encourage everyone else. If the people buy only from farmer’s markets, it sends a message to the rest of the chemical producing farms that this is the only way we will eat our produce and meats. Demand rises on markets, falls on supermarkets. A more healthy supply rises, demand rises, costs drop. I general, from my experience and research (and being of the same crop), people and organizations who are sustainable or more environmentally conscious follow more consumer responsible business practices as well.
We, as citizens, have power over what businesses succeed by dictating what we wish for them to sell us. We also have the power to end the businesses we do not care for. Why, then, do we constantly support the ones we are most passionate to complain about and leave stranded those who actually attempt to make a difference.
Is it really that much more difficult or expensive? Not at all. BUT, it does take an active drive to change the habits we have formed as consumers.
If you Really want change, how much are YOU willing to sacrifice for the greater good?
Large Romaine Green Leaf Lettuce
¼ Red Onion (diced)
1 Carrot (diced)
4-5 Baby Portos (diced)
7 Radishes, mixed color (diced)
½ Orange (sliced then cubed)
½ Lemon (juiced)
1 tbls Butter (salted)
½ Avocado (sliced)
3-4 Cornichones (tiny pickles…get them in Olive Bar or in a jar)
1 large dollop of honey
1/3 to ½ lb Beef (I used cube steak but whatever is cheapest)
1 tsp ground coffee
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Salt
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 tbls Goat Cheese (soft)
3-4 cloves garlic (smashed and finely chopped)
4-5 Calamata Olives (finely chopped)
1 tsp Carraway Seeds
1 tsp Dried Sage
1 tbls Fig Preserve
*Ingredients could be swapped for what’s available or to taste, just match the boldness of what’s listed with what you will substitute it with.
Immediately break off large whole lettuce leaves at the base, wash and allow to air-dry (if they are still a little wet when you’re done, that’s fine.)
Wash and dice carrot (I leave the skin on, but it’s up to you). Heat up butter in a large skillet then add the carrots. You just want to cook the carrots for a couple of minutes to soften them a bit, not cook them through.
Dice radishes and throw into a bowl with the juice of half a lemon (no pits) and put in the fridge to rest while you get everything else done.
Dice the onion, mushroom and cut up the orange and mix in a bowl together. Put it all aside cause it’s beef time.
In a small saucepan, add vinegar, goat cheese and garlic. Bring to a simmer, make sure the cheese has been whisked well with the vinegar then whisk in the olive oil and the fig preserve. Let it reduce over med-high heat.
While that’s going down, throw the chopped olives, caraway seeds and garlic in a bowl and mash it up as best you can so it becomes a paste. In another bowl, mix the salt, coffee and red pepper.
With the same skillet (pan) as the carrots, heat it back up with a glug of olive oil. Pat dry the beef cubes, dredge with the olive paste then cover with the coffee rub. Sear all the cubes on all sides, leaving the centers rare/med-rare. Remove from heat and let rest on a late while you build the salad.
PLATING TIME: Lay a large leaf on one side of the plate. Take the radishes out of fridge, mix (with the juice) to the onion mixture and add a large dollop of honey. When it’s all mixed thoroughly, spoon it on the center of the lettuce, garnish with a couple of slices of avocado and sliced “tiny pickles” and that’s set.
Go back to the beef, slice the cubes ¼ thick and line the other side of the plate with steak slices. Drizzle the reduction over it and you’re done.