I was looking forward to having spinach as part of dinner tonight…sauteed and draped over something or other. I wasn’t thinking it that far ahead. I am one who can eat spinach in almost any way that it can be cooked, and in anything that it can be folded into or smothered with. And I can just eat it plain.
I like it best on a cold morning in the late winter, freshly picked from the garden row when its leaves are still framed with the crystals from the night’s frost. I like it best when I eat it there in the garden. Tart. A hint bitter. I don’t mind the grain or two of sand that hitchhikes on the leaf and grinds a bit between my teeth. It’s my ultimate connection to the earth.
So while I was thinking about spinach, I was coincidently scrolling through articles on Google News and I found one from U.S. News about the viruses and other disease bugs on our foods:
“…a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that leafy greens are also the riskiest foods in terms of causing food-borne illnesses.” - Laura McMullen, US News.
In this dead of winter, I have nothing left in the garden and I have finished off everything I had grown in the hoop house. I started to feel anxious about the “industrial spinach” in its brittle plastic bag that was in the fridge – the spinach I asked my wife to pick up at the store last week (still perfectly fresh, a week from the store and who knows how long from the field).
Tasteless. Paper like. I wonder if it has any nutrients. No sand. No hint of the earth. And maybe it’s full of germs from the unknown. I don’t even know where it came from, if its gmo, or if it’s really spinach at all.
It just isn’t the same as mine. It doesn’t compare.
Tonight, I realized again how much I miss my garden. I think about how much I want to get out and plant seed again….and how much I miss knowing my own food.