Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

The recent news stories about people calling for mercury-warning labels on cans of tuna are just the latest in a litany of anxiety-inducing food news. Pesticide residues, irradiation, genetic modification, allergic reactions, animal-slaughter factories, depleted coastal fisheries—the unsettling list goes on and on. Our success in developing a cheap and plentiful food supply increasingly leads us to question what goes down our gullets. The conscientious eater may want to look to the backyard garden to gain some control over the situation. We’re living in the agricultural center of the universe, so why not take advantage of that? You won’t need a lot of dirt, and you will notice a big difference in taste, freshness and peace of mind. Besides, nothing beats a Sacramento homegrown tomato, plucked warm off the vine on a summer afternoon. During World War II, backyard gardens were known as victory gardens. They are useful today in this fight against fear.