Monday, October 15, 2012

Fresh -- and local -- food

   In the United States, I've made small attempts to increase our family's local eating, but they've always fizzled out.  The CSAs, for example, were mostly small and expensive (especially for a family of 6), and the one that was easy to access and not too expensive didn't seem to really have much local produce...and everything spoiled really quickly, too.
   In France, on the other hand, it's easy to eat locally grown food, especially living in the Rhône, where there are so many types of food raised or grown within driving distance.  At our local market, held every day except Monday, we buy goat cheese from the man who makes it, honey from the beekeeper herself, and apples from the people who own the orchards.  The cheese is delicious and we can tell the seller exactly how dry or moist we'd like the cheese to be.  The apples don't always look as nice as apples in the grocery store at home.  They have lines and scars and a few bruises here and there, but they taste delicious.  As one of my kids said, "It tastes like I just picked it off a tree!" Of course, some things are starting to go out of season and be unavailable (peaches, for example), while new things are arriving (pumpkins, which my kids are sure we should buy and carve).  We won't be able to buy any kind of fruit or vegetable that we want whenever we want it.
   However, when thinking about the available foods at the market and comparing their taste and quality to the same foods at the grocery stores in the US, I'm reminded of how much we've sacrificed in terms of taste in order to achieve convenience (one-stop shopping, year-round grapes, etc).


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