Archive for the ‘local food’ Tag

What are Local Foods?

You’ve probably started hearing more buzzwords like “local food”, “locally grown” and “locavore”. What is this “local” buzz all about?

The local foods movement has been a grass roots movement, literally and figuratively (I like to say “literally” for the cow farmers who grow grass, a cow’s natural diet). Partly inspired by the notion of peak oil, rising oil prices, health concerns over chemical use and vitamin loss, and a desire for more natural ways of human living that don’t involve constantly manipulating nature to fit our whims.

Do you need to give up such “spice of life” goodies like bananas, pineapples, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla? Clearly it would benefit no one to leave the tropical countries which produce these items without an economy. If you can afford it, search for “Fair-Trade Certified” items, harvested and sold with the farmers, laborers and citizens of those countries in mind. If you can’t afford it, don’t give yourself a guilt trip. You can’t do everything at once.

We have become accustomed to eating what we want when we want it. We eat substantial amounts of food out of our locale and out of season. Were our bodies designed to eat apples, grapes or bananas all year round? My best guess is no. That doesn’t mean I never eat an apple out of season; old habits die hard. But I continue in the garden, improving my soil so I can increase my own local harvest.

Start looking around your town and community for local farms and other producers using Slow Food USA, an organization preserving traditional regional foods, or the definitive Local Harvest where you can search your region in detail for farms, CSA’s, farmers markets, etc.

Happy local eating!


Welcome, Have Some Mango Salsa

Hi all:

Now while you wait for the next post, here is a fabulous mango salsa recipe.  I don’t really use exact amounts, so you’ll have to assume most items are “to taste”. The ginger and mango coalesce together to create this divine experience for the whole body, mind and soul. I created this recipe from 2 or 3 different ones that I found online and combined the best parts to make this variety that sends me swooning every time I eat it! Talk about fresh, tropical and cleansing. Great for a fabulous summer potluck!

  • 1 mango (you can sub peaches)
  • A bit of tomato, maybe a few small cherry tomatoes, or 1 small tomato, preferably heirloom varieties from your garden or a local farm. You can also sub cucumber, avocado, or cooked corn here. I tried it with corn, but didn’t like it. (I have also subbed Ro-Tel in dire emergencies, and it is still quite tasty)
  • A good-sized bunch of cilantro, what I call a “fistful” (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
  • Onion-red, sweet, white or green, or any combination (work with what you’ve got)
  • Garlic – one or two freshly grated cloves
  • Ginger – freshly grated, powdered ginger will not give the same impact. I use a good-sized chunk because I adore it! It adds a little spice itself, so if you have to leave out some of the spicy, leave out the chile pepper.
  • Chile Pepper– A little jalapeno or poblano pepper if you like a little more spice.
  • Lime juice – squeeze 1/2 to whole lime, or more if you prefer
  • A little salt and pepper

Flavors will mix and mingle if you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two, or eight. But it’s awesome freshly made, too.

Cilantro BONUS: Dr. Yoshiaki Omura discovered in the late 90’s that cilantro (cilantro is the plant, coriander is the seed of the plant) rapidly moves heavy metals, like mercury, out of neural tissue (that’s the brain and nervous system). In other words, it is a natural chelating agent.

Here is an excerpt that is posted around the web. I am not sure if it is a direct quote from the journal below, but you can find more info on your own. “Further testing revealed that eating cilantro also increased urinary excretion of lead and aluminum. And when cilantro was used concurrently with antibiotics or natural anti-viral agents and/ or fatty acids like EPA with D.A., the above infection could be eliminated for good.” (Acupuncture Electrotherapy Research 95:20 (3-4): 195-229.)