Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Local Love - Grandpa was right

Fact 1: I am really excited and passionate about my new Local Love project

Fact 2: I did an absolutely horrendous job trying to express that in my last post

Fact 3: I am going to do my best to start over and hopefully get you all as excited about Local Love as I am

I must admit growing up, I had a pretty idyllic childhood.

I grew up in a little quiet rural town where everyone knows everyone some how. The fields of the Zutt's produce farm bordered the edge of our backyard. The cows and horses that lived up the street always welcomed our visits as we rode past on our bike. And most of my afternoons were spent exploring the vast fields and forests nearby. It is the stuff that country western songs are made of.

Really trying to get to know these ducks
I also had an amazing nature-loving grandpa, who along with giving me all of his worst genes, also fostered my love of baking, gardening, and nature. Grandpa was definitely my kindred spirit. Growing up we were like Frick and Frack. Two peas in a pod. Where ever Grandpa went I was sure to be found following close behind, hanging on his every word. I adored him and he doted hopelessly on me.

So as I sit here, almost 15 years since I had to say goodbye to that amazing man, and I am still struck by how often I recognize his influence in my daily life and think fondly of the time we spent together. Grandpa and I spent endless summer days driving around to local farms to pick fresh strawberries for jam and to harvest cherries for our pies. We spent all summer puttering in the garden, trying to get those tomatoes just so. And hours were spent on his little fishing boat up north trying to catch the biggest musky in the lake to bring home for dinner.

This is the 1st musky I ever reeled in by myself
I learned to love my food and the farmers who grew it a LONG time ago. So imagine my surprise, when the documentaries Food Inc and FARMAGEDDON recently revealed that those beautiful, idyllic farms I remember from my childhood are not actually representative of where my food is coming from.

In fact, despite having many farms dotting the countryside surrounding Toronto the average shopping basket from one of our downtown grocery stores likely traveled an average distance of 5364 kilometers (or 3333 miles). EEK! We continue to import the very same food we actually grow here - and then export what we produce. And now that food is no longer sold and eaten near to where it is grown or produced, we needlessly use energy to transport what could have been produced nearby. That just doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

I don't approve of toll this process takes on our already taxed environment, or the pressure this kind of "Agri-Business" places on our local farmers.

So I am adopting a Locavore Mindset:  

If you can grow it here, then I won't buy it from there.

So today took my first step and I picked up my very first CSA Produce Box from Culinarium. And I know that I am getting fresh organic vegetables grown by Mervin Miller from Aylmer Ontario.

I want to return to that fresh, beautiful, nutritious, and delicious food I remember. I want to take a step back from all the crazy training and fuss about diets and calorie-counting. I want to cut out all the heavily processed junk that lines my cupboards and get back to a simpler time. I want to take care of my defective little body and train for my upcoming Marathon by focusing on fueling my body with Real, Locally Grown, Organic, food.

And I think this might be a step in the right direction.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,