Web Original: Critic’s Notebook: A Call to Farms

Michael Pollan, the New York Times Magazine‘s go-to scribe on food politics, is at it again with an open letter to our future president. In it, Pollan restates his case for local food, calling for the expansion of four-season farmers’ markets, citing Philly’s own Reading Terminal Market as a role 
model.

While I do love Reading Terminal, there are surprisingly few stalls there that follow Pollan’s guidelines. He recommends grass-fed beef as a more environmentally sound alternative to corn-fed, and I couldn’t agree more. But there are no grass-fed steaks to be found at RTM. Not even Guinta’s, my favorite all-natural butcher, sells meat from completely grass-fed cows. And Fair Food Farmstand is the only fruit-and-vegetable seller that carries strictly local goods. Elsewhere you’ll see the imported strawberries and lemons that Pollan advises against. To be a real role model for the food future, RTM should take a cue from the market at Headhouse — where all the goods are locally grown or crafted.