Eating Local Challenges: Part II

spice-cupboard

I have over thirty herbs and spices in my cupboard. I would not happily give up these foods. Whenever possible I buy my spices in bulk and in the whole form. Whole spices last longer then ground. I grind just before using. Buying in bulk makes certified organic spices affordable.

Even though I’m crazy about local food, there are some exotic foods I do not want to give up. Eating local foods may be a great idea for most of our meals, but exotic foods and specialty ingredients add a wonderful foreign element to cooking. It would be a sad day to lose these foods forever. Enjoy local foods and supplement with exotic ingredients. Feel good about all the nutritious homemade meals you’re making for your family.

These are my favorite exotic foods I would not like to give up: lemons, limes, bananas, avocados, olives, spices, cocoa nibs, vanilla, quality sea/mineral salts, coconut oil, coconut cream, extra virgin olive oil, cod liver oil, butter oil, raw butter, wild fish, wild shellfish, wild mushrooms, green tea, coffee, dates, currents, dried coconut, almonds, and pecans.

These are exotic foods I enjoy occasionally: papayas, pineapples, oranges, mangos, grapes, coconuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, specialty oils, specialty vinegars, exotic raw cheeses, and exotic liquors.

Many people are worried about their carbon footprint and want to reduce their personal weight on the environment. This is a noble cause. I believe it is important to save your health first and the planet will take care of itself. I don’t want people to try to live an ideal that ends up making them sick, unable to have healthy children, or go hungry because of inexperience with planning. Have fun and don’t be zealous.

imported-foods

In the last year I have started to make homemade medicines. I think it is a good idea to learn the medical plants in your bioregion and use these plants or grow special plants in your herb garden. But some exotic plants do not grow here or have a local equivalent. Find a healthy balance between local and exotic. I get my spices and medical plants from mountainroseherbs.com.

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