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Nutrition And Racism

Posted 9/7/2020 6:16am by David Zemelsky.

Dear Friends

Everything that's on my mind sooner or later swings back to opportunity, equity and racism.  Everything.  And it also gets in my way sometime.  While I know that I'm not personally responsible for the haves and have nots in this world, it doesn't mean that I don't forget the fact that White Privilege  is real and my own position in the world was partially determined by that.

And that is why I thought we should talk about Nutrition (with a capitol "N") and the devastating effects that the lack of Nutrition plays out for those of us who do not have the access they should have for good food.  It should seriously be noted that my knowledge of nutrition is not very deep.  But I do know two very important things.  One, that the vast percentage  of people that have been hospitalized for Covid-19 were suffering a comorbidity disease previously.  Hypertension, obesity diabetes, morbid obesity, coronary artery disease and asthma being most common.  (Based on a group of 5700 people in the New York Area).  Two, that people of color, statistically are much more likely to suffer from these ailments compared to White people. And in looking just one step deeper into this fact, it is not the color of the skin that is significant but the economic opportunities and access to good food that determines the health aspects of either race. And clearly, people of color's access to economic opportunities is much more apt to be restrictive compared to white people.  I think, we all know that.

Simply stated, because many more People of Color (POC) do not have the economic stretch of White People, their diets are found to be heavy on less epensive empty calories versus important vegetables, fruit and protein that are often either too expensive or inaccessible (food apartied) to these folks.  This directly leads to many of the conditions listed above. And, of course, POC who have an economic disadvantage do not own these disorders by themselves.  Many White People suffer them, too.  But we're talking the much higher occurrence proportionally to the overall population.  Meaning, because POC are often behind the White population in income, they are more limited in being able to get good nutritious food.  And that's all about race, equality and making the playing field level (which it isn't).

What to do about it?  Oy, if I only knew.  For my part, I'm hoping to convince anyone I see to the ideas above.  Star Light consistently gives money to the CT Food Bank and donates food to the St. Vincent Food Kitchen.  But most importantly, we need to have the right people in elected positions who know, understand and feel empathy for those of us who have less and are willing to fight for the interest of POC as fiercely as if it was their own children who are lacking basic good foods. My own conviction is that the present President is lacking in all those qualities. He is only concerned about his own interest.   The recent article in the Atlantic which tells how the President can not understand the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers should  get the point across.  "They're all losers" I'm reasonably sure that the majority of the people on our mailing list feels similarly.  Selfishly, I'd love to hear from any of you who supports the present Administration and try to understand your reasons.  This is something that I've wanted to hear for a while.  Around the Thanksgiving Family table, it is easy for me to visualize family members coming to emotional blows.  That wouldn't happen with me (I hope!).  I'd just listen and then finally, I might begin to understand people's support for the present Administration, cause I really don't understand.

Meanwhile, please remember to get absentee ballots, if you're going in that direction.  Also, there are countless postcard drives that are designed to help get out the vote.  If you don't know where to find one, ask me and I'll help get you connected to the right people.

Moving on...

With the cooler weather will be coming pea tendrils.   Cooler weather gives us more sturdy and flavorful greens, particularly lettuces.  Check out the mixed greens and the lettuce heads.

One whole hoophouse is now emptied of tomato plants with the aim towards a quick crop of greens before our winter planting.  There are still a strong strong quality and quanity of the tomatoes, but its important to note that we're looking at our end, rather than our beginning.  You won't be able to eat a fresh Striped German Tomato in February!

There won't be cherry tomatoes in the store this week, but there are ways to get them, still.  We encourage those of you who are picking up at the shed to let us know that you might want cherry tomatoes and we'll do our best to make it happen for you.

CSA has been so strong and important for us this season.  Your balance is good so don't feel like you have to spend all your money before the season ends.  We'll be able to keep rolling over your balance for as long as you want. Remember that we're a Four Season Farm and will have fresh greens, spinach, roots and other things anytime this Winter. CSA is great for Star Light and for you.  You get a decent amount of our food for a great price and Star Light gets cash when we need it most (all the time!) and a hopefully loyal tribe of excited food eaters that are looking for optimum nutrition, freshness and great taste. Is there anything better?

Lastly, this week we had 5 or 6 people who ordered and paid for their food just not show up.  When you order, note the day and earliest pick up time so that you won't forget.

Thank you for reading this.  It is a privilege for me to be able to write to you every week.