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