Lee Anne Wong

Lee Anne Wong on why the chefs should step-up to the challenge and stop bitching.

on Dec 6, 2006

Either way, let me tell you why you should shop at your local greenmarket if it is available. When you go to the grocery market, ever notice that your garlic has already sprouted by the time you get it home and unpeel it? Your ''fresh" corn on the cob is a starchy mess? The worst culprit tends to be those beautifully shaped, perfectly red tomatoes ... mealy and flavorless most of the time. Most of this produce has been mass-produced and genetically modified to make it look good and have an extended shelf life. Not exactly what Mother Nature intended. It is harvested and shipped to a plant, where it sits before it is cleaned and packaged for sale. Then it is shipped to a distributor, where it sits in a warehouse until it is shipped to a market. It then sits in the back storage room of a market until it is put out on the shelf for the consumer, where it sits, until after many hands rummage through it all and you finally have a terrible product to take home and cook for dinner. Your onions may be over a month old by now.

Think about it.

I shop at the grocery store. It is convenient, and at times cheaper than the greenmarket (though I will not discuss my disdain for a certain large and ridiculously expensive supermarket chain that I refer to as "The Evil Empire"). But I absolutely relish shopping at the greenmarket. Some dishes come to me in my dreams. (I've been in Los Angeles for the past two weeks, shopping at a crappy supermarket due to convenience and a busy schedule.) I basically spent an hour at the airport this morning thinking about how nice it's going to be to hit the Union Square Greenmarket on the way to work tomorrow.