I just finished the book This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader by Joan Dye Gussow. Gussow outlines all of her trials and tribulations as she attempts to "go local", eating mostly what she grows, while providing recipes using much of the produce from her gardens. Although the story gets a little bogged down in the details--is the book a "how-to" on growing a garden or a narrative of her life story or what?-I gleaned some great information from it. It also has inspired me to at least try keeping to locally grown and produced items.
Unfortunately, that means I'm going to have to give up my morning smoothie if I really mean it. In the past 3 weeks or so, I have been getting in all of my fruits for the day by throwing in a banana with whatever else I got at the grocery store, whether they be strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (only once-heaven!), peaches, oranges, and mango. I put in a few tablespoons of yogurt, a shot of water from the tap, and blend, blend, blend. I've never been one to sit snacking on most fruits. It's just not a habit of mine. But I need to be a better example for my daughter. I don't want her to enjoy a High-Fructose Corn Syrup snack more than a yummy piece of fruit.
But I digress. The problem is that none of these fruits, except for the peaches, came from anywhere near Columbus, GA. All of them were shipped in from afar--thankfully nowhere foreign. Gussow says a place to start is by giving up bananas, the perpetual exotic since they don't grow except in the tropics. I don't really like bananas, but they have their place in my smoothie. Gussow tried to find a banana substitute in paw-paws, though she never had any luck actually producing them from her plants.
So what's a girl to do? For now, I'm going to at least try to stick with items that came from the East Coast. That's as local as I can do with the fruit for now. For veggies, off to the farmer's market. I'm still baking my own bread. Who knows where all the ingredients in that came from!
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