At the end of June, I had lunch at Fattoria la Tagliata where I discovered the new meaning of fresh. From their garden/farm to the table! Everything served is from their own produce or nearby farms.
Both retreat centers that I visited this summer, do the same thing. Impressive amount of local produce and everything made from scratch. Needless to say the food was delicious.
My eyes were opened to the local concept when I was 19. I was spending the summer with my brother in Maryland and one quiet Sunday afternoon one of his friends offered to take me for a drive in the country side. At some point, I asked what are those trees? and he said apple trees, never seen one?… so he drove me to a peach farm and we got fresh peaches! My mouth still becomes watery at the memory of their sweet and juicy taste.
So you are probably thinking, I know that buying local is better but we live in Canada, it is not possible. And you are right, most of the time we will have to make some choices or work out an alternative.
Higher in nutrients and prana
This is not hard to prove. Have you ever compared two items one local and one from the other side of the world? Size and taste is different, right? Because the produce is picked earlier and put in cold containers to preserve, there is a considerable loss of nutrients and prana
Local produce is left to grow to a more mature state and therefore has higher nutrient density. They have higher prana not only because they travel very little from the source to your market but they also contain the same proportion of the five fundamental elements as the area where you live. Ayurvedic principles state that equal proportions of the elements in locally-grown herbs, fruits, vegetables and dairy products have an enhancing and energizing biological impact.
Local vs Organic
I debate between the two too. So you are not alone. Here are some of my choices as an example:
- If the item is in the clean 15 list, I buy local when in season without reservation.
- If it is in the dirty dozen, I buy organic.
- If it is wild, I buy local too. Sometimes even from neighboring provinces.
- If it is not local, I choose closer in origin to my location (Less travel distance, more nutrients)
For a complete list of the dirty dozen and clean 15, see my saved pin at Shopping clean.
Farmer markets are great places to buy local because you can talk to the source and find out what they are doing to cultivate the produce. You might be even pleasantly surprised to find out some of them follow most of the organic guidelines but are not seeking certification for various reasons. The beauty is that you get organic quality for local price.
It is also fun to visit these markets, sample food and enjoy the buzz. And once you get to know some of the vendors, it feels like visiting friends and going home packed with goodies.
Canning and preserving
Now is still summer, we can stuck up on some local goodies to preserve or pickle… And yes, I don’t want to say freezing but it is another option I do not use.
Some food coops and markets offer workshops and even series where they provide the foods and expert support and you just show up and do the work! I actually signed up this year with a food coop to can my share of harvest…
Just signed up for the CSO series to get my share of harvest and learn to can food with expert support. Easier, eh? Thanks @WestendFoodCoop
— Amyris Rada (@amyrisr) September 8, 2015
This all sounds fine and dandy but what do we do in winter? If you have your own stash of pickled foods and preserves and even dried foods. You can be in a good shape.
What if you don’t have the time or inclination? or live in a small apartment like me? Well the good news is that you can get some of these foods from some health food stores and even some farmer markets sell these foods. I am really thinking in converting a section of my locker room into a cellar and getting a dehydrator.
If this subject matters to you, you will find options. I’d be static if you share them as a comment to this post.
I know, it feels almost a crime to make something out these gorgeous fresh peaches other than eating by themselves! but if you get a chocolate crave once in a while, you will love this recipe.
I only use golden flax seeds as topping because of its milder taste.