Bring To Orlando: Permanent Local Market

Having recently visited Philadelphia and the Epic Reading Terminal Market, just a few days later I received the Winter Park Harvest Festival newsletter, featuring a video with fest organizer John Rife and Gabby Lothrop, who runs the Audobon Park Community Market. They are posting from a very similar place in Seattle called Melrose Market.

They seem to be insinuating that there is a project afoot to create a 6/7-day-a-week market in Orlando. With all the food trucks, local markets and “food entrepreneurs” (as John calls them) springing up in town, something like this would make total sense.

Then they point to a blog with exactly one post (what a tease!). I hope to see more soon from the Orlando East End Market.

Orlando actually has quite a few indoor Flea Markets, but those are normally the kind with $10-for-10 t-shirts and other cheapo stuff. In this case, we are talking serious food and other local goods. There are lots of hollowed out grocery stores, and the Church Street Exchange wouldn’t be a bad place to put something like this either. I have no idea where they will really put it, but the “East End” moniker makes me wonder if it is not somewhere… Waterford-ish. To my knowledge nobody calls any part of Orlando the “east end” right now. What could it mean?

Improve your brain and your attitude with movement

At TEDxOrlando last week, I was very inspired by a woman who measured the affects of regular aerobic exercise on the brain – it actually improves your long-term memory. The line from her bio reads: “Wendy Suzuki holds a faculty position in the Center for Neural Science at New York University, where she also runs an active research lab.” So there.

The workout she did was called IntenSati. A little bit like spinning without the bike or zumba with a lot more yelling. Look it up.

Then I saw this post by Jessica Earley about Dance Therapy:

When I saw both of these, I was also reminded of a reference in a Daniel Pink book to Laughing Clubs or Laughter Yoga. It works. Don’t believe me?

Clinical research on Laughter Yoga methods, conducted at the University of Graz in Austria; Bangalore, India; and in the United States has proved that Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, etc) in the blood. It fosters a positive and hopeful attitude. It is less likely for a person to succumb to stress and feelings of depression and helplessness, if one is able to laugh away the troubles.

Slave-picked Tomatoes?

A cover story ran in our local alt-weekly last month about a shocking state of affairs – the tomatoes supplied to much of the eastern United States, and the dark pit that is the Tomato-growing industry in Florida.

The article is an interview with Barry Eastbrook, the author of a book on the subject called Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.

Here are some choice quotes from “Strange Fruit: An interview with Barry Eastbrook on the high cost of cheap tomatoes” by Megan Peck, Orlando Weekly, July 28:

they inject methyl bromide, which is a fumigant which kills every living organism in the soil – every germ, every bug, every bacteria. [...] After a couple of weeks, when the soil is sterile – dead – they then poke holes in the plastic and put seedlings in.

There is also a fair deal about the immigration status, living conditions, and low wages of the workers who pick the fruit, at one point claiming that “it’s abject slavery”:

Our governor, Rick Scott, ran on a hard-line anti-immigration stance. He’s since taken heat for backing down. Might this have anything to do with agriculture companies and migrant workers?

He may have taken a look across the border at what’s happening in Georgia. Florida’s agricultural sector is huge. [In Georgia] you have a situation where they had enacted one of these crazy laws, and right now there’s $300 million lost so far, with crops rotting in the fields because the workers simply – well, they are nothing if not migrant.

Is there anything we can do to get around this evil?

The closer your tomato is raised to your kitchen counter, the better it’s going to be. It’s not as easy in Florida, but there are small farms … [or] grow your own tomatoes. When fresh, good tomatoes are available, make pasta sauces and freeze them.

For more information, read the full interview, or pick up a copy of Barry’s book.