A Letter from the Editor.
When I stay alone in hotels, I like to watch morning TV. It’s a childish habit, seeking comfort from voices, even those coming from the screen. And so, on a recent autumn morning, alone in a New York hotel room, I had the early morning news on while I busied myself preparing for the day.
What brought me from the bathroom, toothbrush still in my mouth, was a “story” that the New York City NBC affiliate aired exposing the horror of a local school’s lunch program.
It seems that a student had discovered a worm in his salad.
Of course, the student had filmed the poor little thing as it blindly made its way across an indifferent bed of iceberg lettuce.
A reporter apeared in front of the school to get this story live, just after it happened. The school superintendent was brought on camera to apologize. Harrumphs and exclamations were trumpeted; the word “gross” was used.
(No mention was made of the fate of the worm, but one can only imagine its voyage from field to packing to kitchen to plate. Death could only be a relief.)
A worm in a salad—that’s news. And sure, given the state of our national food supply, the fact that a worm could even be produced in an industrial farm’s field is news.
In this issue, our news is about the school garden movement, where students don’t get grossed out by worms, but rather, understand their place in the production of our soil, and therefore, our food. We meet heritage pig producers who are bucking the monopolization of pork, one wooly animal at a time. And of course, we dwell on beer, because: beer.
Upon returning to Sonoma County, I went to the farmers’ market, where the vendor jauntily inquired if I’d like him to “de-worm” the corn I was buying. Yes, please. He took out a big knife, swacked off the top of the ears, and handed them over. Man, was I glad to get home.