Now we are back in
and I am
trying to address that for which I have been ruminating as a result of John's gift of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and family.
The book is about how they became “locavores” for a year at their family farm in southern
. The family agreed to eat only what
they could obtain from their own garden/farm or the gardens/farms of neighbors.
That meant no broccoli or oranges from Virginia California,
no lamb from New Zealand, no
red bell peppers from
or anything outside their region. The author claims that “Every food calorie we
presently eat has used dozens or even hundreds of fossil-fuel calories in its
making…” and once the food is processed, “Each food item in a typical Holland meal has
travelled an average of 1,500 miles” (co-author Stephen Hopp). The family
wanted to know where things were raised and how things were raised:
(pesticides? herbicides? growth hormones? antibiotics?) U.S.
So, as John knew it would, reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has caused me to assess my shopping habits from a “locavore” perspective. When we are in
I go to the Allen Street Farmers Market on Wednesdays or make meals from the
vegetables of my own garden (no pesticides, no herbicides there!). The majority
of my food shopping is nonetheless done at big box stores. I do pay attention
to finding fruits and vegetables that are in season – as in Michigan ’s seasons. (I love it when
asparagus from western Michigan
is available and cheap In the spring). Michigan
I think it will be easier to get closer to a “locavore” profile. For one thing,
the French display prominently the country of origin of all fruits and
vegetables. Restaurants usually have a
display showing the sources of beef and pork.
Cheeses, some meats and wines are origin-protected. Origin-protected
means, for example, that only the sparkling wine that comes from the
Champagne region of France
can be called ‘champagne’. (You may remember my post a few years ago when I
bought a 10 pound origin-protected turkey for Christmas and paid more than 100
€ for the privilege – to my great shock.) France
If Ellen and I are to be “locavores” in
, it would
mean shopping at the local independent stores and not at the big box stores.
The one ‘caveat emptor’ is that in the center of town there is a small grocery
– part of a franchise large enough to offer their own brands… France
We are going to try it. (John probably predicted this decision.) That means that we will buy our vegetables at the local épicerie (grocery store), our meats at the butcher shop and our fish from the fish monger and continue to buy our bread at a local, made-here bakery. I will include the market on Tuesdays as it is the day on which we can buy all that we might need even though the Tuesday market includes fruits and vegetables from Africa and
“little” market on Saturdays is populated with farmers who bring produce from their
Since we are starting “cold”, I don’t have a cellar filled with canned vegetables or fruits that I could use to bring some summer back to the menu. I will have to get really creative to make inviting dishes to reduce the boredom of winter vegetables. “On verra.” (We’ll see) how this works out. Stay posted.