Eating locally produced food has nutritional, social, and economic benefits. Also, it may come in handy in the event of the Apocalypse. I am not a strict locavore, and certainly not a political one. Nonetheless, given my priorities with respect to what I eat, local food is the best option. This meal came mostly from Maine (eggs, milk, meat, veggies), or New England (cheese), my salt and pepper come from abroad (although I am very picky about those too: the salt is French Atlantic sea salt and the pepper is certified organic).
What you absorb through ingestion and environment is all your body has to run on; the same is true of the stuff you eat. If your food is grown in depleted, chemically treated soil, it stands to reason that it will be nutritionally deficient and will carry those chemicals with it. Given that sprouts and kefir grains do not grow well in water treated with fluoride and chlorine (most recipes specify the use of untreated water), it might be reasonable to assume that those compounds have a negative impact on healthy cell development. When I buy my food from a farmer who has rinsed it in fertile fields and then brought it directly to market, I trust it to be nutritionally potent.
I find that local food is also a good way to make friends! In the area we used to live in, most of the people I knew that lived there were connected to the farms and coops where I obtained food. So, when I first moved to this area I called a local organic farmer. Where could I find fresh eggs, raw Jersey milk, grass-fed meats? She's become one of my good friends. Living where food is grown, it is abundant and accessible, and the entrepreneurial energy and work ethic that comes from running small farms and food processing businesses is always present. Food creates community.
Certainly, the freshest food is that you grow yourself, and some might criticize me for emphasizing purchasing locally grown food rather than gardening. There are some things I like to grow at home; I try to identify what I do best with my resources and leave the rest to the professionals. I have found that small farms benefit from an optimal combination of economies of scale and expertise which allow for a productive division of labor in the marketplace, such as I cannot create by myself at home. (Of course, mega-farms have the best economies of scale, but chemically-intensive monocultures are sort of like nuclear power: shop now, pay later). That's just me; there are lots of terrific home growers out there and I commend you.
Now, for a recipe full of non-local ingredients:) By request -
Raw, organic energy bars
1 C almonds (I buy Spanish raw almonds; most domestic almonds that are labeled "raw" are actually pasteurized)
1 C cashews
~3/4 Lbs pitted dates (~20)
1/2 C raw honey (I get mine from Honey Gardens Apiary in Vermont).
1/3 C organic, unsweetened coconut
In food processor, chop the nuts and then add the dates. Continue to chop until it starts to form a ball; add additional ingredients and process again. Roll out between waxed paper on cookie sheet and then freeze until firm. Cut into bars and stack with wax paper; store in freezer.
My latest go-to recipe for any veg and grain combo I have on hand, although I like kamuts and green beans these days. This is a repeat, but it bears repeating. I double the dressing because I use it on everything.
From Oh She Glows
Protein Power Goddess Bowl
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice (or however much you want to make)
- 1.5-2 cups uncooked lentils (you need 4 cups cooked lentils)
- 1/2 red onion
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 1 red/yellow/orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup Tahini lemon garlic dressing
- 8-10 sundried tomatoes, sliced (optional)
- 2 large handfuls of mixed greens (or spinach)
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- Lemon wedges and olives, for garnish (optional)
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste (I think I used about 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt in the sauté)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil for sautéing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste