Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Oh, dear. I live across the state from you. The fact is that unless you plan on living on canned goods for much of the year, the concept of seasonal is just that, a concept. Nowhere in our part of the country can you go outside and pick some lettuce, now. Tomatoes have been gone for well over a month. Is anyone really willing to eat canned vegetables all winter? Remember last two winters we had weeks that never went above freezing.
Yesterday we were taking my sisters on a "tour" of the country side (corn, soybean, dairy cows, beef cattle), and I pointed out a dairy farm that had veal boys. They're proud of the way they treat them and have them within sight of the road. My sisters were surprised because there are so many places that treat them inhumanely. Once you've come to terms that you are an omnivore, and I certainly am, it is nice to see the animals you will eat being treated well for their life times.
Yes, I do try. WEll over half my garbage goes into recycle. I live in an old house, and it takes a gallon of water for the hot water to reach my kitchen and bathroom, and I save the cold water that comes first and use it to water plants. I have a skin condition and cannot shower daily, that has to save gallons. One friend I have told me I should never apologize for any wasteful ways I have because we chose to be childless, which probably saved more than anything. But, in fact, there are many wonderful things in the store that were not readily available when I was a kid, and I do take advantage of them. Yes, I enjoy oranges, lemons, and limes, which you couldn't grow here (outside) on a bet. Yes, I enjoy not having goiters or rickets or other diseases caused by not having a well-balanced diet. I love having a baby spinach salad at my fingertips. Right now, the only things producing in my area are some apples, winter squash, and I, in my own garden, still have parsley, sage, and thyme (well think of the song, although I've brought the rosemary in for the season already, along with the bay and lemon grass).
The fact that we can buy so much that makes for a tasty, well-balanced diet is wonderful when you think of it. So much food I can buy at my local Piggly-Wiggly would not be available even 20 or 30 years ago.
Yes, when something IS local, available, and in-season, I do buy it, grow it, or get and give it to and from friends. BUT, here it is, the first part of November, and there is no way I could have anything resembling a fresh salad if I lived by that standard. Not until late June for lettuce, and not until September for tomatoes.
So some of these standards are great on paper. When I watch NYC chefs saying they only do "in season and locally grown" I can't help but wonder exactly where in New York baby lettuce grow in January? It sure as heck doesn't grow here without some real (artificial) help!