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I never realized how beautiful vegetables were until
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PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE
I lived in New York for a few years and started
noticing the corner stores—found throughout the
city—with their colorful tiers of produce and fragrant
flowers lining the sidewalk. They were open 24/7
in all seasons. Buffalo didn’t (and still doesn’t) have
corner stores like this; our delis have more limited
supplies of fresh consumables, but I think most
would say that our excellent supermarkets more than
make up for that lack. In recent years, I have been
noticing the beauty of vegetables closer to home.
Every Thursday during the growing season, a box of
fresh produce is delivered to our home by our CSA
(community supported agriculture) farm. Even New
York’s Korean markets limited themselves to brown
potatoes and orange carrots; thanks to my CSA, I’ve
found that carrots can be red, purple, and yellow and
that potatoes can be pink, purple, or bright yellow
inside and out. Many other vegetables—including
radishes, kohlrabi, and beets—come in a spectrum
of vivid hues. Who wouldn’t be inspired by this
glorious variety? And it turns out that gathering a
diverse spectrum of colors on the plate is a signifier
of beneficial nutritional diversity.
Vegetarians and meat eaters alike have better choices
now. There is more access to locally grown (and pastured)
food and more of it comes free of chemicals. For so many
reasons—not least the health of the world’s environment—
it seems a good idea to eat lightly as we tread lightly, by
consuming less meat. (According to many studies, the meat
industry is a major cause of pollution, loss of biodiversity,
and climate change.)
Those who aren’t as interested in the politics of a plant-based diet need only slice into a pink-striped beet or pick
up a handful of purple-streaked dragon beans. Or just page
through a seed catalog. Every year, growers are rediscovering new heirlooms or creating exciting new varieties. Vegetarianism is no longer about what not to eat; it’s about
possibilities and the love of great food, as it should be. We
hope you’ll get inspired.