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On Becoming A Localvore
The best tasting and the healthiest food is food that is fresh. Now today it is possible to freeze food and retain much of the goodness that is in the fresh version and it will travel and store better. However, I still prefer fresh vegetables to frozen ones. I have not yet found a frozen brussel sprout worth eating but the fresh ones are delicious.
The freshest food comes from a grower or producer that lives close to where you do; travel takes time and each hour, day or week that the food is in transit reduces its freshness and thereby its flavour.
True, they are producing food that is fit to travel but taste usually suffers. Consider tomatoes, another personal favourite. I usually only buy them, except for canned, when they are in season in the fall and come from a nearby source, often my backyard or the yard of a friend, sometimes from the local green grocer. The difference in the taste of the tomato bought out of season that has traveled hundreds and thousands of miles to get to my table and the one grown in my yard is night and day. Give me fresh- give me local.
I am a localvore when it comes to my food choices. A localvore is a someone who is dedicated to eating food grown and produced locally. Now, I must admit that all I eat is not produced locally.
In November we buy 2 cases of oranges and a case of grapefruits of the local Rotary Club. They come from Florida which is a 2-3 day journey from here. However, they are picked, processed and put on a truck and shipped here.
The time they spend in transit is much less than the organs I can buy in the local grocery stores; at the very least they tatse better are juicier, last longer and the money I spend on them goes to good causes in my community.
I also eat bananas, they travel even farther and I buy organic ones to help compensate.
Root vegetables are common here and I have reached back into my family history to find recipes to get more variety from the various root vegetables available and I have even begun to embrace, well that’s a bit strong, but at least I eat, parsnips. They do well in stews for example.
I like in the Canadian Maritimes which means seafood is something that is local. The problem was when I arrived I was not all that fond of sea food except for salmon which I make with a bit of dill and butter, the dill I grow the butter comes from a local dairy.
I have trouble with lobster but my wife loves it so we have it now and then and the other day I had a crab meat sandwich for lunch.
My point is that to become a localvore, you first need to know what foods are grown and produced in the region where you live.
We have a variety of herbs, butter, honey, seafood, beef, apples, berries and much more. The way we discovered what was local was one read a map so we would be familiar with the region and two talk with the local green grocer co-workers and others about what they buy that is local and here they get it.
Fiddleheads, young ferns are delicious, fried in a butter sauce or steamed and served with a homemade herbal butter. I actually went fiddlehead picking, talk about cheap and tasty food.
If you live in a place like here, the winter are long snow can fall in late October and remain on the ground until mid-April, so you will either need to preserve a considerable amount of food during the season or accept that there are times when you buy food from away, but even then you can always decide to have several meals a week that are all local.
We get eggs regionally as well as bacon and I just heard about an organic pork farm so bacon may be back on the menu.
Food is one of our more intimate experiences and it is also a statement about who we are and what we believe.
If you enjoy fresh food, eat local.