Friday, June 29, 2012

Tomatoes and Education

It's fascinating how education changes our opinions.

This is true of everything from the Affordable Care Act to vegetables. As a supporter of health care equality for all, I'm frustrated when I read that the majority of Americans support the individual provisions of the ACA, but because of the propaganda they hear on t.v. or in other media, do not support the law as a whole. I strongly believe that if educated about the ACA, only the most cruel among us would chose to deny care to 45 million people, to deny care to people with pre-existing conditions, to take away coverage from people when they fall ill, or to systematically discriminate against women by forcing them to pay higher rates for no reason other than gender, which are all things that the ACA protects us from, and are all things that exist in our current system and will remain if ACA is repealed. I have yet to hear an argument for why the Affordable Care Act is not a good thing, unless the argument involves lies such as the always hilarious Sarah Pailn's claim that there are "death panels" involved. And I'm fascinated to hear the conservative rhetoric today about repeal. This was a conservative bill, the ideas of which were originally introduced by the conservative Heritage Fountadion, was the same style as Romney's health care in Massachusetts, and was approved by a conservative Supreme Court which in their written opinion discussed limitations on the Commerce Clause- a huge conservative victory. Why are they complaining?

In the parallel world of food (also related to health), I read a fascinating NPR story on mass produced tomatoes, and why they taste so poor. I read this while eating lunch on the patio and eating leftover pizza that we made with farmers market heirloom tomatoes and arugula. We did cheat and bought the Trader Joe's pre-made refrigerated pizza dough, but topped it with tomatoes of all colors and sizes. The purple ones were particularly delicious, which got me thinking about why people think they want a uniformly red store-bought tomato when heirloom local varieties are so much better. My best guess is education- that people are not aware of what they are missing. That combined with marketing and habit. I'm still waiting for my three varieties of heirloom tomatoes to ripen in my garden, but tomorrow is market day, and I can't wait to pick up more tasty orange, yellow, and purple varieties for the week, and now, thanks to the story linked above, I know to look for green shoulders. Education.

Super Simple Weeknight Pizza:
Roll out refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough (either your own, or store bought) on a pizza stone. Top lightly with pizza sauce, this could be tomato sauce, pureed tomatoes from a can or jar, or store bought pizza sauce. Toss on a liberal amount of chopped tomatoes (about two cups), top with chopped arugula (we bought one bunch from our farmer, so about two cups), add about a cup of shredded mozzarella and sprinkle with dried oregano and basil. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Yum!

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