A Taste of Pure Heaven

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I bought a tomato this evening at my local farmers’ market– a Japanese momotaro, deep red and as sweet as candy. I sliced it up, sprinkled it with a bit of salt and had it with my supper. It was like a taste of pure heaven.

As I might have mentioned in past posts, I’ve had a change in lifestyle in the last few months and I am, little by little, changing the way I eat. Before my shift in eating habits, I would visit the local farmers’ markets on occasion, usually to enjoy the outdoor entertainment and exotic prepared foods that are also featured at these markets. I rarely did my food shopping there; afterall, produce was much cheaper at my local supermarket. Futhermore, the notions of sustainability and eating local foods never crossed my mind.

This recently changed when I picked up a copy of the Whole Life Times, a local magazine about “green” and conscious living. In the September edition, I found an interview of Alice Waters, a chef and restauranteur who is credited with bringing about the “local eating” revolution in this area. In the article, she mentions her newest book, The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution. I acquired a copy of the book and spent a glorious weekend salivating over her minimalist, but oh-so-satisfying recipes. Her recipes emphasize eating locally-grown, organic foods and methods of slow cooking.

It was at that moment the light went on, and I signed on to this thoroughly sensible approach to food. Last Saturday, I did most of my food shopping at the farmers’ market. I even brought canvas bags so I wouldn’t look too much like a “localvore” newbie toting around plastic ones!

Yes, I spent a little more on the green onions and bundles of fresh rosemary and parsley. Yes, the squash and pears were not perfectly uniform in shape and size like the ones in the supermarket.

But I’m taking a wabi-sabi approach to my food: a little imperfection is not a bad thing. And by preparing my own meals for a whole week from these foods instead of grabbing something from the local “gag-in-a-bag” fast food place several times during the week makes up for the extra expense.

This revolution in eating has propelled me to do a little more research. There are more reasons than just my good health for eating locally and simply. I discovered a whole list of reasons: Ten Reasons to Eat Local Food. Take a look at this site and you’ll see what I mean.

In the meantime, pass me the tomatoes and a shaker of salt.

Text and Image: Lori G.(c) 2007

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5 responses »

  1. Accelerating the revolution by writing a piece like this is so inspiring Lori. Fresh food is sometimes more expensive but I have found it out lasts anything I buy in a supermarket and I have far less waste. It is extraordinary really. I had no idea how stale so called fresh fruit and vegetables were until I began to buy quality produce. Bravo!

  2. Farmer’s markets are the best! When we shop there, not only are we eating fresh and simple, we are financially supporting our local community. FYI — I bet that tomato was extra rich in phytonutrients!

  3. Last weekend I had the worst kind of supermarket tomato at a restaurant in Queens, NY that prides itself on its food. I was shocked to see it on the plate. Nothing like the ones I got out of my garden this summer, or that were otherwise grown locally.

  4. Lori! I’m so glad to read this and hear this about your choice. Little by little, person by person, the revolution grows. Isn’t Alice Waters a delight? I think I’ve said this before but I can’t recommend Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma enough, for anyone who wants to find out what they are really eating at fast food joints, most restaurants, and in packaged supermarket foods. Also how that food found it’s way there and at what cost to our health and the environment. Great post, Lori.

  5. Great post, Lori! Farmer’s Markets are wonderful. We love fresh food in our family. I’ll have to wait for next June to go back to ours here, though. It has closed for the season. For some reason, they object to doing business outdoors in the cold wind and snow…Of course, what would they sell out here in the winter, nice fresh icicles and powder snow? In the mean time, we hit the natural food stores in Ft.Collins when we can.

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