08 October 2015

Complex Choices

“The more we know about our food system the more we are called into complex choices.” 

- Barbara Kingsolver

Wow! What a great experience and a fascinating conversation. I was so honored to be included in the discussion on the environmental impact of our food choices today on KCUR’s Central Standard. I learned a lot from the other guests, Tim Crews of the Land Institute and Mykel Taylor from KSU, and I appreciate the way that their specific perspective on agriculture really enriched my own take on things.

It is so true that we face very complex choices as Barbara Kingsolver says. And isn’t it fascinating that choosing what food we eat - which is such a personal decision - necessarily involves so many other people? But I hope that as individual consumers we can find a way to do a little bit at a time - to not bite off more than we can chew, if you will (pun intended). As we pay close attention to what kind of negative impact our choices have on the environment, I think we can also look for ways to have a positive impact on the world around us and on our KC community. Buying from local farmers means choosing to support the people who are taking good care of the soil and the land in and around KC. You can also keep more food dollars in our community rather than sending them to far-off companies and marketers and other entities. These are positive environmental and economic impacts.

As Mykel Taylor suggested - there may not be just one thing that will solve our problems. There might be a variety of solutions to address our great strain on the earth. I'm glad to know that there are groups that are laser focused on finding solutions for the parts of the system that they can impact. And I hope that the KC Food Circle can inspire folks to focus on what they can impact most directly - which is - what's on your plate.

Or bowl as the case may be. And speaking of which, here's my bok choi soup! 

I posted it once before but when I made it again last night I included lemongrass, which was a very nice touch. I also like to add a fresh garnish along with my sriracha. At lunch today I had scallions - tonight when I eat this soup again for dinner (because it's just that good) I'll add some very finely chopped radishes. I made a big batch of it last night since last night was CSA pick up night so I have plenty of soup to keep me going.

Baby Bok Choy and Garlic Soup

7 c veggie broth
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 piece of ginger, peeled
*a stalk or two of lemongrass! Hard outer leaves removed and just chopped into a few long pieces - remove before eating the soup.
handful of brown rice (between 1/4-1/2 cup; PS this is a great recipe to use up leftover rice)
1 kohlrabi or turnip, peeled and chopped
1 lb bok choy, trimmed and chopped
salt to tast
sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste
1-2 eggs
garnish with fresh scallions and or radish and or mint

Boil the vegetable stock and add the crushed garlic and ginger and lemongrass in a big pot. Let that simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and kohlrabi (or turnip); cover. Simmer for 20 minutes (unless rice was previously cooked.)
Add more broth if you need it and add the bok choy. Taste and season with salt and sriracha.
Cover and let the bok choy cook down - should only be 5 minutes or so.
Ladle a small portion of the broth out into a bowl and add the egg(s). Stir vigorously with a fork and then pour it all back into the pot. Give the soup a good stir and serve.

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