I begin writing with such mixed emotions. It may seem silly to you, but I am very passionate about food. It gave me such joy today when I went to get my CSA stuff and I saw that I was getting a watermelon. A real watermelon, not one that is perfectly round, but one with flavor and character. After picking up my fruit, veggies, eggs and goat milk from the porch of a home a few blocks away, I stopped by Safeway to get some tortilla chips for Jared to enjoy the salsa that I made a few weeks back. Wow, what a different emotion that experience was. I almost felt violated. All of the rows of packaged food, stacked to the ceiling, yelling at me with their loud marketing. I am still in my 20's, it isn't like it has been that long since I have been in a market, but this was horrible. The package sizes and low quality ingredients just blow my mind. There was an open refrigerated case with single serving beverages as well as bottles of wine. I was not really surprised that the case didn't contain any decent wine but I was taken back by the other beverages. Who needs to drink 24ounces of Frappacino, nobody, ever! The soda was sold in 1 liter bottles, what happened to a 12 ounce can? Then there was the check out. I was aghast at the magazines degrading various famous people for whatever they are doing in their lives mixed with the convience foods put forth by the Hershey company. I almost ran out of the store crying. The poor people that go there regularly. Such a good reminder of how important it is to "Vote With Your Fork". It might sound crazy that we eat mostly beef and veggies, but we are blessed with those resources close to us, so that is what we eat. I know that I am not perfect. I have a bad habit of occasionally enjoying Panda Express (which I normally regret) or when trapped in the car with two sleeping girls going to a drive-thru for some french fries. I guess the part that makes me so sad is that so many people just don't realize what they are doing and the options that they really do have. Those that think that they are doing the world a favor by purchasing really small individually wrapped organic snacks are missing it. Eat an apple or a carrot! It is tragic to me that our nation is so missing the big picture on our food system. On the bright side, there is movement, momentum is stirring for a sustainable food system. I belong to a preservationist society. I am able to get tomatoes and cucumbers among other things in quantity almost directly from local farms. When their fields are brimming with food faster than they can get it all sold at market, an email goes out and I can put my order in for a Friday afternoon pick up. There are few things I would rather do than spend a Saturday at home with the girls, in and out of the kitchen and wind up with shelf full of salsa for the winter or strawberry jam. Actually, there is one other thing I would rather do, go to a festival celebrating food and it's place in culture. If you are in the Oakland area at the end of Aug. you might want to check out Eat Real, we hope to go, girls and weather permitting. So that is my rant, I feel better now, time to go make some fruit spread with all my fresh berries.