How to eat local food when there's snow outside

canning cottage
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter

After Katherine and Margaret did their epistolary exchange about Local groceries, all winter long there was a bit of a rumble in the comments from some who thought that the whole idea was silly.

Fact is, as an affluent society, we do enjoy the opportunity and capacity to import foods from not just elsewhere on the continent but from around the world. Should we try to emphasize locally sourced food as much as possible and practical? Sure. But to act like it's a sin to include exported food in one's diet is absurd and, frankly, hypocritical.

Now I don't see anywhere the word "sin" and in fact simply points out that while it "seriously limits dietary options, but it's not impossible." I took umbrage with the comments because Katherine is not alone; our family does it too. My wife, Kelly Rossiter, used to write for TreeHugger and started cooking what is essentially a 19th century Ontario diet about five years ago and we have been doing it pretty much ever since.

It takes a little planning; Kelly cans all summer so that we have fruits and vegetables on hand. She has to work a bit to find recipes so that it isn't monotonous. But it is doable. It's also healthy; as one nutritionist noted in one of our early posts on the subject,

"If we look at what's in abundance right now, we have lots of squash, carrots, things like that, which are actually beneficial at this time of year," she says. These winter foods are rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, vitamin A — just the sort of nutrients our bodies need to fight off colds and maintain energy levels for the season.

As for citrus and orange juice, I drink local apple cider instead.

If you want to see what we eat, look at 10 great recipes for eating local and vegetarian in February and 10 more recipes for eating local and vegetarian in February

More and more people are realizing that we can't keep trucking or flying food all over the world, That we should stop eating fossil fuels and start eating food, that even in cold northern countries there is lots to eat if you plan ahead, and that it is the right thing to do.

Tags: Cooking | Local Food | Vegetarian

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