Eating locally

October is eat local challenge month. The goal is to eat locally grown food for the month of October. My participation will be to highlight the locally grown food that I’m already eating. I buy almost all produce from local farmers markets, because it’s environmentally sustainable, and especially because it’s fabulous.
Farmers market fruit and vegetables are so good that they often seem like different substances from the stuff you get in the store.
Today’s highlights:
* Jujubes. A farm that sells many varieties of asian pear also carries jujubes, an asian fruit that has been cultivated for thousands of years. They taste like apples, but dryer and more floral.
* Pomegranates. These are traditionally eaten for the Jewish new year. Eating pomegranates in the Northeast US is a tedious and disappointing obligation. In-season pomegranates in California still takes some care but is a real treat.
* Artichokes from Guisti farms in Half Moon Bay. They sell an older, tastier perennial variety; a newer annual variety grows faster and produces more but doesn’t taste as good.
The goal isn’t necessarily to be as strict as possible. Many people use a “Marco Polo rule” – products with old traditions of trade: spices, coffee, tea and chocolate are exempt. The guidelines are pragmatic:
If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.
If you have access to farmers market or locally labeled seasonal give it a try. Skeptics invoke January hothouse tomatoes in Maine to argue that local isn’t always more sustainable; but in-season apples are probably “greener” than apples from halfway around the world. And tastes better. And there are bargains at high season. So enjoy!

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