episode 64 :: so long, farmers market

Three years ago, Katrina and I discovered our local farmers market which had just opened. On our very first visit there, I brought along my iPod and recorded our experience, asking questions along the way. I asked where they were from, what they grew at their farm, how large the farms were, and how on earth they were able to sell enough produce to justify a 4-hour drive to and from Buena Park.

As I started to suspect after a while, some of them were lying. Not only were they lying about where the food we were buying from them was from, but the fact that many of them didn’t even grow it. And all of that “No Pesticide” stuff? Pure nonsense. As it turns out, you can ask all the questions in the world. The key is keeping the bullshit filter on high.

In what I can only sum up as a swift kick to the balls, it was a total let-down to watch a recent undercover news report from our local NBC affiliate that featured one of the farmers I’d been suspecting of selling produce he didn’t grow for a long time. Our farmers market is riddled with false claims, but ours is not the only farmers market with this problem. It’s wide-spread. This was not the kind of thing I needed to see after coming home from another stellar trip to Sonoma/Napa.

Listen to episode 64

In this episode:
• My numbers are way down. Time to step it up.
• How I overcame not being able to bake
• Farmers Market fraud – I feel so . . . so . . . used! [watch the report here]
• Sean Paxton’s new show “The Homebrewed Chef” on The Brewing Network
• Michelle Obama wants restaurants to show some culpability. Who’s she kidding?
• The makers High Fructose Corn Syrup would like a name change. Who didn’t see that coming?
• Re-visiting the audio from our first farmers market visit
• Sonoma/Napa re-cap
• Don’t miss Duskie Estes from Zazu Restaurant on The Next Iron Chef, October 3rd

Music in this episode from Stereophonics. You can buy the song in the iTunes store or from the band’s official web site.


  1. you know, it’s always heartbreaking/infuriating when something good in the world gets some traction and inevitably some people just go out and pull one over on us suckers, just to make a buck…and ruin it for the people who are doing it the right way. when i see those boxes of produce that suspiciously look exactly like the other family’s boxes just around the market corner, and the yoga moms getting all wet over those vegetables, i get so pissed that they bypass friends of mine who toil and care for their harvest every year. those people who bend over backwards for bullshit USDA organic labels. the ones who really don’t use pesticides and don’t have signs. i don’t know, man. that’s disheartening. but keep asking questions! keep everyone and yourselves informed!

    on another note—holy balls, i am stoked for the halloween episode this year! as always!

    cheers, man.

    • What a farce. I hope they put that bastard in jail. He sounds like a complete bullshitting beaner.

  2. i love how these market guys were able to get busted. We dont have a problem in SWPA since everyone knows everyone and you’d get called out on that quick.

    Our first lady is batshit crazy but you already knew that. You can live a healthy life with balanced meals. Schools around me are serving breakfasts worse than mass McDonalds production. How about not serving pizza dipped in ranch (maybe thats a PA thing, it is tasty though) and giving more than 20 minutes from the break of your last class until your next so you can eat and not scarf something down.

    btw, if I had 30 minutes left to live I would spend it at my favorite local brewery swimming in their tanks and drinking as much as I can. tombstone would say ‘Death by Craft Beer” and all of my friends would agree “that figures”.

    • Thanks, Spoon. I’m with you when it comes to 30-minutes left to live, but I’m pretty sure I’d find a spot in Sonoma to do it. 🙂

  3. Nick – thanks for your comments. It was such a let down for us, but as I said – I was on to him after a while and started steering clear. It was the rest of them that I had doubts about, and I’m glad they’re being outed. Kind of embarrassing for us to be honest.

    Working on ideas for the Halloween show now. Glad you’re excited about it. Already have a few things recorded.

  4. It’s funny that you brought this whole farmer’s market issue up. I go to our Atwater Village market when I can get to it and I have also had the feeling that many of the vendors may not be on the up and up. Really sucks that you asked the questions and were lied to – on tape even! Wow! Can we not trust anyone?? Loved your poetic piece on the amazing virtues of Sonoma County. It really is some kind of food nirvana up there. I’d happily die there without question.

  5. Phil, I noticed in your videos that you are not using the electric pepper mill. I am disappoint. You get such a suspect grin on your face when you use it. This other grinder i’ve seen takes some of the punch and pizzaz away fomr your otherwise high profile production.

    • Hey Chris!

      I had one of those but the damned thing broke. I used it on my audition video for Bobby Flay’s “Grill it!” show (which never happened for me). Cute accessory, but I don’t have time for bullshit like that. I have two hands, strong wrists, and tons of peppercorns. The hand grinder works just fine.

      Now when it comes to sausage – forget about it. I’m using my motorized grinder. 😀

  6. Not surprised.. the types of people who were caught I wasn’t surprised that they were hustling people mainly they figured they could get away with it. The one lady, you’re really starting to annoy me now she was saying as if the reporter was the asshole. Take solice that these types of unscrupulous folks aren’t exclusive to the US either. Costa Rica had this kind of thing happening too last time I was there last year. Scam artists are everywhere unfortunately.

    As for a pepper grinded, hook it up to drill, it’s bad ass lol.

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