23 April 2008

Heart of the City

The outside market that takes place in the U.N. Plaza every Wednesday and Sunday is called the Heart of the City Farmers Market. I couldn't think of a better name for it if I tried, for it truly is a place where the heart and soul of San Francisco shines.

The farmers market seems to be a place for everyone in the city to come together. Whether we're rich or poor, white, black, Latino, Asian, old, young, all or none of the above, we all have to eat.

What we choose to eat has become a very complicated issue in this day and age.

Locally grown? Organic? Fair trade? Genetically engineered? Pesticide free? Cage free? Steroid free? Hormone free?

It's enough to make one's head spin.

To further complicate things, the world has gone into a Global Food Crisis.

The price of staple foods such as corn, soybeans, rice, and bread have become so unmanageably high that thousands of people around the world are starving. Such a tragedy that is leading to much suffering and political unrest. Just awful.

* * *

Needless to say, I feel blessed to be able to enjoy whatever foods I want, whenever I want.

Not only is a plethora of food available to me at farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants, vending machines, and the USF cafeteria, but also the affordability of said foods has never been an issue for me.

While this is without doubt a blessing, there seems to be something almost unnatural about not having to struggle for food.
I have never once had to worry about where my next meal was coming from.
It's just something to think about.

* * *

After spending a day perusing through the Heart of the City Farmers Market, soaking up the sun, examining all the fresh produce, watching people scrutinize long, slender carrots and bunches of leafy kale, I settled by the fountain to enjoy a hot black bean tamale and a plump pink lady apple.

Food is a surprisingly complicated issue, but one thing I know is that food should be enjoyed and appreciated.

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