At the Green City Market in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, local vendors showcased proudly their sustainably produced winter foods. From the meat, bread, and ready-to-eat vendors downstairs, to the produce, ice cream, cheese, and canned good vendors upstairs each was very enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge on their product.
As a student, it is hard to be able to solely rely on local food- going out to eat, quick snacks on campus, etc... But going to a Farmer's Market is an experience all in it's own. I had a great time going to each booth and looking at each vendors stock of foods. Although I only bought some apples, I took away more than I expected. At about 50% of the booths I spoke with the vendors, questioning them on what and how they produce from red meat to seasonal ice cream. I also got a plentiful amount of samples and vendor information!
I learned from Hawks Hill Elk Ranch that Elk has less saturated fat than skinless chicken or fish and that is very high in protein and nutrition. I questioned another meat vendor about the water usage in locally produced red meat, knowing that a lot of water is wasted in industrial farming. He told me local farmers use almost no water in processing their meat while the industrial farm companies are allowed to inject up to a certain amount of water into their meat without recording it. Those were the two conversations I was most excited about. I eat vegan because of waste and toxins that are associated with industrial farming, so it is good to know that eating locally sourced meat is not harmful.
One thing that took me by surprise was the free cooking demo I was able to sit through. Mity Nice is a restaurant located in the Water Tower Place that has a great Gluten-Free Menu. The chef showed the crowd how to make fork tender country ribs and sweet corn pudding. He explained how to prepare and cook the pork butt and how pork is graded as a meat. The samples were very delicious and the free ten dollar gift card was even better!