Last night we had some fresh local asparagus with our supper. It was absolutely YUMMY! We eat a lot of vegetables at our house, with hearty salads being a real staple. I'm grateful that we have access to produce pretty much year round thanks to modern packaging and transportation methods. Still, eating fresh foods grown locally is something I try to do as much as I can. Not only is it healthier, the taste is just unbeatable.
Here are a couple links that would agree with me:
Top 10 Reasons to Buy Local
Eating Better Than Organic
I really liked the article at the second link - "Eating Better Than Organic" by John Cloud for Time Magazine.
He lives in New York and found himself with a quandary over whether he should buy an ORGANIC apple that was probably grown several states away or buy a LOCAL apple that had probably been sprayed with pesticides. He ended up purchasing both, but then goes on to reflect on the merits of various sources of food.
There is just no doubt that something picked when it was ripe and eaten shortly there after TASTES far, far better than something picked prior to ripeness and then stored/shipped/stored again before it could be purchased and eaten. Also the nutrients are much richer. So I do agree with folks who encourage others to eat locally grown as much as possible. I'm just not willing to give up salads and such in winter when I have to get my stuff from California or Mexico or other places.
The one case of a far away food that I definitely choose to eat year round is bananas. I eat a banana almost every day. (Usually in a smoothie for breakfast, sometimes sliced down the middle lengthwise and spread with peanut butter, or just as a quick grab snack.) Also I do buy quite a bit of citrus, which also has to be shipped from other places to get to me.
So in concept I support the idea of looking for local things to grace my table. I'm just not at the point where I am willing to sacrifice the things I enjoy eating that are not.
Boise has some great farmers markets that I'm looking forward to frequenting once the harvest season gets going. And of course I do plan on growing some of my own vegetables this summer. Still - I will more than likely continue to buy foods that increase demand for fossil fuels to ship them to me. And honestly, I'm just not willing to pay the higher price for "organic" in most cases.
How about you? Do you know where your food comes from?