Happy Earth Day Topanga!
In honor of Earth Day this issue of the newsletter will be a little more dedicated to some of the reasons why organic and sustainable farming practices are so important to our health and the health of our planet. Did you know that agriculture can affect climate change? Yep, it's true. The research is showing increasingly that organic farming has some of the greatest potential to store carbon. The whole system of organic farming and other sustainable practices that come out of the organic toolbox all really focus on soil building. Keeping carbon in the soil rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere makes for healthier crops and combats global warming. Did you also know that just this week researchers discovered that half of the meat in the U.S. may be widely contaminated with strains of drug-resistant bacteria? The study's leader said the animals most likely harbored these drug resistant pathogens because antibiotics routinely are fed to livestock to promote growth and prevent disease in crowded pens on large farms. The AMA, the World Health Organization and other medical groups have warned that the misuse of antibiotics in food animal production may be creating a serious problem for human health by fostering development of drug-resistant bacteria. Oh, and did I mention that some of the meat and poultry samples tested were purchased in Los Angeles?
Don't despair, meat-eaters! We are so fortunate to have access to some of the cleanest, healthiest meat, chicken, and eggs right here in our very own farmers market. Not only does Novy Ranches never use antibiotics or have disgusting crowded pens but they have created a closed herd, meaning that they breed all of their own cows and never allow outside cows into their herd. Lily's Eggs also provides antibiotic-free, seriously free-range naturally fed chicken and eggs. If you pay close attention, you'll see that eggs are seasonal, with spring, appropriately enough, being the most prolific time. Hens don't lay as much during hot weather and Lily's gives a lot of thought to keeping the birds cool. They have built palapas (dried-palm-leaf umbrellas), installed sprinklers on the roofs of the open-door chicken houses, and provide lots of shady trees and bamboo. Eggs are collected twice a day at Lily's, more often when it's hot. If you notice smaller eggs among your dozen, they are most likely from younger hens, rather than a sign of an inferior product.
My favorite item in the market last week? The red-veined spinach at McGrath Family Farms. It's an entirely different creature than the green spinach and is bred to be cut as baby greens. It's beautiful. The taste is sweet with nutty spinach undertones and it's definitely best used raw where it's delicate flavor and texture can be most appreciated.
There's a lot happening in the Canyon this weekend, namely Topanga Earth Day! Check out the incredible schedule of events at www.topangaearthday.org
or on their Facebook page. And I have to give a big birthday shout-out to Topanga's Earth Day Birthday Goddess of Dance and Beauty, the fabulous Devon Farr! Happy Birthday Devon - I love you!!!!
See you tomorrow!