I am not alone in agreeing with Michael Pollan that cooking could be the most important step someone can take to make our American food system healthier and more sustainable.
Just look at the growth of farmers’ markets across the country: The Fresno Bee reports that the 2014 National Farmers’ Market Directory showed a 76 percent increase in farmers’ markets since 2008—now we have more than 8,200 markets nationwide.
Why are farmers’ markets on the rise? We are spending our food dollars at farmers’ markets because they are the kind of food system we want. My local farmers’ market has grown by leaps and bounds in the 14 years I have shopped there—an increase in both farm vendors and shoppers. Shoppers are hooked on the relationships they build with the small farms that grow their food; on what they learn about food from one another; and on buying just-picked, nutrient-dense produce, some of which they cannot get at the supermarket.
And what does everyone do with the farmers’ market bounty they bring home? They go into their kitchens, prepare farm-fresh homemade meals, and make a statement about the kind of food they value for themselves and their families—a very radical act indeed.