A couple of weeks ago I was at my local grocery store (one that usually carries a higher than usual amount of locally produced foods). I had missed getting to the market and was looking to make some blueberry and raspberry jam--thinking I'll just stop at the grocery store, they should have some local berries.
Not only did they not have any (although the did have an abundance of fresh berries from California and Chile on sale for $1.49 per half pint...), but when I asked where they were or when they would be coming in, I was told that they most likely would not get any local berries in this year.
Of course, I asked "Why?".
The manager told me they were too expensive and people would not buy them.
There are many reasons we should be looking for local produce at our grocery stores, and even more reasons to NOT buy what isn't local--especially when said items are in season here. We can each make a difference by choosing where/what we spend our money on. We can each make a difference by asking our local stores where these items are. Go ahead, make a difference. It's important.
I have 2 responses to this:
1. When did our food distribution system get so messed up and backwards that it not only is "cheaper" to sell berries from the other side of the continent, but customers are unwilling to pay a fair price for food produced and grown locally by their neighbours?
2. How is it that we have become so price obsessed, that we are unable to see, and too willing to support a system that doesn't pay its food producers, pickers, or workers a fair price regardless of where they come from. (because you can't convince me that $1.49 per half pint pays that Chilean farmer a fair price or the workers who harvest them a fair wage.)
I made some of this today--if you would be interested in purchasing freshly made pestos, please let me know!
Sundried Tomato and Asiago Pesto
(from better homes and gardens canning special)
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 jar sundried tomatoes in oil (210ml)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and cracked pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic
2/3-1 cup walnuts
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process on high until mixture is almost smooth. Scraping down with a spatula when necessary. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, or for a few months in the freezer.
Tip: Pesto isn't just for pasta! You can use it as a sandwich spread, bake it on Pork Tenderloin, or top some brie and warm in the oven.