Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Fruits These Morsels Be!

With local beauties such as these, who could be worried about salmonella?

I can’t really claim to have jumped on the recent “locavore” wagon, because for the most part, I’ve eaten locally grown (and often homegrown) produce most of my life. Naturally, I don’t raise bananas or pineapples or kiwis in the backyard, but I’ve resisted the ugly produce in big-box supermarkets for years. When Dear Daughter was about seven, she saw some pretty half-pint containers of blueberries in the local Kro-zhay and started pleading for them. As it was March, I was suspect. The fact there was no price tag made me even more wary. I asked a nearby stocker what the price was, and he told me seven dollars.

Whoa?! Seven bucks for approximately 50 berries the size of my thumbnail? I so don’t think so. As I put them back, he looked at me like I was the unreasonable one and said, “They came from Chile!” I retorted, “Did they fly first class?”

Know your foods, people. There is joy in growing your own (okay, it’s also work, but it’s good, useful work, unlike say, moving piles of paper from one bureaucratic office to another). Stop by those local produce stands. Meet the guy with the truckload of melons. Not only will you likely avoid salmonella (or worse), you’ll be stimulating the local economy, and not some megalithic farm corporation run from an office, rather than from the seat of a Farmall.

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