Having grown up with an Italian American father who cooked and whose mother kept a traditional Italian household, I was exposed to an intensity about food. Moving to the Pacific Northwest, I was exposed to a different kind of intensity about food — closeness to farmland, access to dozens of farmers markets, and therefore, farmers, and 10-month growing season, and an high consciousness about food. A concern for the environment, my health and that of others, and a love of cooking led to a deep commitment to buy as much local food as possible, or grow my own. Out of this has come a personal project tracking my fresh produce expenses for a year to really see if I'm putting my money where my mouth is. I volunteer for our farmer's market and am a Slow Food member, and once you start reading about food ethics, you really have no choice but to go forward. Even if you wanted to, you can't go back. It becomes an almost spiritual effort.
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