Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Going too far

Until recently, if I thought at all about imported foods it was generally with a historian's sense of wonder, imagining how emperors once sent armies to gather spices I can buy for a few bucks at the grocery store, or how exotic chocolate seemed to Europeans just a few hundred years ago. I think about letters from the Pioneering Whackamoles, how they craved fresh fruit during the winter months, and how rare it was to taste an orange. Then I walk outside, and grab a fresh tangelo right off the tree, thinking, This one's for you, Laura Ingalls...

I never, never, ever thought about the drawbacks of imported food until we started looking at climate change and carbon emissions. Not that we need to give up imported foods entirely, but they should be accents to a local meal. A dash of Indian saffron is a luxury; buying tomatoes from Chili is just irresponsible.

The growing eater's reading list—Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilema: A Natural History of Four Meals, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, and Alissa Smith and JB Mackinnon's Plenty, to name a few—is fueling the fire for ideas like the 100-mile harvest and the Eat Local Challenge. Go, Locavores!

There's tons of stuff about this on the web—I have links to a few local sites on the right side of this post. A cool one is The 100-mile Diet: Local Eating for Global Change, which includes a super cool mapping feature. I learned that 100 miles from the ranch includes more possibilities than I expected. Maybe even local wheat, rice, or dairy!

And why did the chicken cross the country? Another awesome site, The Ethicurean, pecked out Culinate's article on Metro Chickens.

Yum... time for some huevos rancheros!

No comments: