Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some Thoughts on Black Beans in the Pod

I consider myself pretty connected to and conscious of where my food comes from. I choose to eat whole foods that have been minimally processed (and hardly anything packaged). I purchase the majority of my vegetables and fruits from local farmers markets. I eat local free range eggs from chickens that roam in grass all day. And I know that the wild salmon I ate on Sunday was probably caught in the icy cold waters of Alaska the day before (one of the perks of living in Seattle, for sure). Yeah, so I guess you can say I'm a conscious consumer. But far from perfect.

Granted, I don't own a farm, I don't have an enormous garden where I grow all my own food, and I don't have any backyard chickens (somehow, I don't think my landlord would approve of chickens roaming around my nonexistent plot of grass). I admit that I live in a city (albeit a very environmentally friendly and food-focused one), and that limits me a bit. Even though I can easily travel 30 minutes to a local farm to see food grow, I can't say that I'm immersed in the growing process.
I was awakened to all of this the other day when I came across these fresh-as-fresh-can-be black bean pods at the farmers market. I was giddy with excitement...almost in awe of them. Of course I knew that black beans grow in pods. But my only experience purchasing black beans had been scooping them out of bulk bins at my natural foods store. To many other people, the only black beans they know of come out of a can. As a nation, we have become disconnected to where our food comes from and it's sad.
Besides being overly excited about these black bean pods, I realized that to a certain degree, I will always be disconnected from what I eat. There's no way I can know where everything that graces my lips comes from or who grew it. But I can become more conscious of and to be grateful for the food that I do choose to eat. And I think that buying these black beans, taking the time to remove them from their pretty pods to lovingly prepare them certainly put that into perspective for me.
I don't have a recipe for you today. I just felt like writing about how these beans made me feel. Call me a food nerd. I don't mind. But be sure to stay tuned because you can be certain that I'm going to make something delicious with these black beans...and of course I'm going to share it with all of you!



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