As someone who enjoys cooking, it is easy to get inspired to try new dishes, come up with new combinations, and try exotic food (i.e. tropical fruits, “strange” vegetables, new meats, etc.). Eating seasonally and locally can be a challenge when one is inspired to cook. Whether I am following a recipe or making one up as I go, cooking begins with a list of ingredients. At times I find myself with ingredients, such as key limes, in the middle of winter in the Midwest of the United States. In my opinion, the fresh juice from a key lime cannot be matched by a bottle of lime juice. However, key limes are not in season during the winter months where I live. This becomes evident in the lack of tangy and sour flavor profile that I have become accustomed to. Rather, I taste a bland, somewhat sweet, mute version of what should be key lime juice.
After taking time to reflect on the range of my diet I realized I use a fair amount of ingredients that are “out of season” and aren’t produced locally. I questioned what would it take for me to purchase locally grown food? Previously living in Seattle, I immediately thought of nearby farmers markets made it easy for me to purchase local, seasonal, and fresh produce. The food I ate during this period of time reflected what was available during the season. I didn’t shop at major grocery stores unless I chose to purchase meat or dairy products (something that was not available at the farmers market. Contributing to the local economy gave me a “good feeling” inside because it created a sense of community, unity, and opportunity to supporting local small businesses within the area.
Gopalakrishnan, K. (2013, October 29). Fruit Stand in Kottayam. [Photograph found in Kottayam]. Retrieved February 12, 2018, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/unniambliparamb/10773037285