I’m feeling better about Food, Inc. today. Sure, it trod much familiar territory, but walking through the Whole Foods Industrial Complex yesterday, I was struck with the happy thought that the film also featured one of my favorite rants: the high cost of sustainably grown and/or organic food. At one point, the filmmakers follow a working class family through the supermarket, where they have to consider how reasonable it is to buy two pears for 99 cents when they could get an entire hamburger for the same price.
I was faced with the same dilemma in Whole Foods yesterday as I stood in front of a gorgeous display of organic radishes, their round little magenta bottoms delicately nestled in a lush bed of crispy green leaves. Feeling guilty about some recent purchases of factory-farmed meat at ridiculously low prices, I had decided to punish myself by walking over to Whole Foods, loading up on expensive but sustainably farmed meat, and lugging all twenty pounds back home in a single large cloth bag. Maybe if I threw my shoulder out, I reasoned, God would forgive me.
My self-righteously reusable cloth bag bursting with swordfish, a whole chicken, a roast, two pounds of ground chuck, half and half, and a wallet soon to be considerably lighter, I contemplated the radishes, at $2.49 a bunch, wondered if my shoulders could take on an additional half pound of costly produce. I thought of the people who agonized over the pears and about how crazy it was that you could get a hot dog and soda at Costco for the same price as those radishes. What the heck, I thought.
I like to think that I made up for my indulgence just a bit by using every bit of those radishes in the salad I made for supper. Radish greens can be quite good, as long as they are fresh, bright green, and not too large. They also should be thoroughly cleaned, as they tend to collect dirt. This salad is very easy and brings out the best of the greens and the radishes themselves.
1 bunch radishes
Olive oil (extra virgin)
White balsamic vinegar
Cut radishes from leaves and set aside. Thoroughly clean greens and trim stems. Dry in salad spinner or on towels. Wash radishes and trim ends; dry. Tear greens into bite-sized pieces, if necessary, and place in large salad bowl. Thinly slice radishes and add to greens. Drizzle olive oil (1 – 2 tbsp.) over top, lightly splash with vinegar (1 – 2 tsp.), and salt to taste. Toss until greens are coated and serve immediately.
Thanks for the notice about Food, Inc., which I had not heard of before. The radish salad looks wonderful. The other night I made a simple dish of onions, sundried tomatoes, and yellow squash.
The radishes at my Whole Foods (Ann Arbor) often are bunched so that the greens turn into a sour mess well before I get to do anything with them.>>We do a simple asian style salad with the radishes – thin slices plus soy, sesame oil, and a dab of cider vinegar for bite.
I still have dreams of planting a garden in my back yard. I’ve got that lovely gently sloping ground and, now that the big tree next door is gone, full sun all day.>>Of course, the gas main that runs right underneath the garden spot is a slight drawback, but it’s ten feet under. I mean, the worst that could happen is that my garden catches on fire, right?