Meet Our Polenta, Popcorn, Rice, Oats and Red Peas!By Tom Cowan, M.D.
Throughout human history, people have stored food for the winter. Failing to put up enough food for the family for the winter was considered a fundamental abrogation of one’s duties as a householder. With the advent of modern agriculture, refrigeration and supermarkets, people have no longer felt the need to ensure their families’ food supply for the winter. We, instead, rely on the systems of commerce to take over this fundamental human task. In my view, this is a mistake. I have decided that storing food for the winter and ensuring the quality of food I eat is my responsibility. I don’t feel comfortable outsourcing this responsibility to others at this crucial point in our history.
For this reason, we at Dr. Cowan’s Garden have decided to expand our product line to include foods that for centuries have been considered kitchen staples. Like the vegetables we use to make our powders, the grains, flour and beans in our new “Kitchen Staples” line are grown in the best possible way and offer the most flavor and nutrition we could find. We source our vegetables from small biodynamic and beyond-organic growers, and the sourcing of our staples line is no different. Even the names of the varieties we are carrying evoke tradition and high quality: Artisan Handmade Fine Yellow Polenta, Appalachian Heirloom Sweet Flint Popping Corn, Carolina Gold Rice, Savannah Red Rice, 18th Century Toasted Stone Cut Oats, Sea Island Red Peas.
These growers' main purpose is to revive the most flavorful, most nutritious, most ecologically sound staple products — the actual varieties, growing techniques, and cooking strategies — that have nourished humans for centuries. They start with heirloom seeds and beans. They grow their crops using the strictest of organic practices, store the finished products in coolers or freezers so as to not degrade the quality of their grains, then grind the flour only when an order comes in to ensure optimal freshness. In short, the flavor and nutritional quality of these products are simply unmatched in today’s marketplace.
My personal strategy heading into this winter is to purchase the largest freezer we can fit in our garage. I am going to fill it with grass-fed animal products, grass-fed raw butter, lard, and hundreds of pounds of our new line of oats, rice, flours, and beans. Check out our Kitchen Staples part of the recipe section and stay tuned for more recipes and tips on how to use these amazing products.
As always, we appreciate your support and welcome your feedback.