Wednesday, December 28, 2005

lessen the impact

Zuppa di Verdure, Rome December 2005.

We had an interesting conversation at dinner on Boxing Day about organic v. locally grown food, that is if organic food is trucked from a 1000 miles away is it necessarily better for the environment than conventionally grown food grown 20 miles away. Which is a better choice for the planet?

Anyways, it got me thinking. I know that this concept has been beaten to death by the well known food bloggers who have taken up a challenge of eating locally (100 mile radius), could you do it?

I think we could.

We can get locally grown chickens, eggs, beef and lamb. Fish may be a problem, but could we count G's washington troll caught salmon into the mix? Cheese as well.

Veggies -- we would be okay most of the year with farmer's markets and we would be eating a lot of kale, cabbage and mache in the winter. Carrots too. We would have to wait until early spring for sprouting broccoli and we could definitely grow that as well.

The hot weather veggies would be preserved. No problem since I already can tomatoes for sauce and salsa, I could do some whole ones as well (cursing as I did it). We get lots of peppers in the summer and fall, so I could roast and freeze those. I still have squash from the fall as well, both frozen and fresh.

Herbs we still have until the first hard frost. Lots of pesto in the freezer as well.

As for fruit, we have tons of rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, pie cherries etc. in the freezer and we would be eating these things all fresh from the garden during the season. I am jealous of those who took the challenge in the Bay Area because of the citrus, our little trees just couldn't keep up.

I'm trying to figure out the best time to do this challenge. I would say early summer would be most fun, the cheese at the markets are all nice and the stuff from the garden is amazing -- asparagus, arugula, cherries, fava beans.
For more information on eating locally please see life begins after 30's blog or the Locavores web site. Me, I'm going to check out Nabhan's Coming Home to eat today at Powells. Shop locally as well kids. :)

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