A long time ago another BTD blogger wrote about his belief that all the food he ate should be fresh and locally grown. He made a passionate case. I held my peace and said nothing, but I totally disagreed. I remember my first thought was, “How awful to live your entire life and never taste a banana.” You see, banana trees can sometimes be coaxed into growing in Central Texas, but they do not bear fruit. If everything you ate had to be fresh and locally grown, I would never eat many beneficial foods that, like bananas, can’t be grown here. People in Alaska would rarely eat anything fresh – no fruit or vegetables in the winter for sure. In Texas, salad would be a winter only food, because lettuce doesn’t grow here in the summer. I would get to eat citrus, since it is grown not too far south of here. But none of you living in Kansas or New York would ever taste a lemon or grapefruit.
I remembered that blog because my share from the organic garden for the past month has been full of squash. I’ve cooked zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, and a couple of squashes I can’t even identify. I’ve baked and roasted. I’ve tried new seasonings. I’ve given away loaves of zucchini bread. And I still have a refrigerator full of squash.
To be perfectly candid if I only ate what was fresh and grown locally, I would dread the month of August because of squash!
Don’t get me wrong. I like squash. But most squash is neutral for my Type A husband and Type O me. I’m not knocking neutrals – they are good for energy and phyto-nutrients. But if I’m going to eat a food for days on end, I would rather it be beneficial.
Fortunately for me I am not dependent on the organic garden. My grocer gets lettuce in the summer – grown somewhere cooler than Texas. He has cherries from Washington and blueberries from Michigan. He has green beans and broccoli, which grow in Texas in the spring, but definitely not in August. I am thankful for transportation and for an economy that make possible eating a variety of beneficial foods year round.
PS: I had planned my squash blog in my head, intending to use a little hyperbole to make it humorous. But then Hurricane Harvey happened. I grew up in Houston, and have many friends who still live there. Many of them have water standing in their houses. My Darling Daughter and SIL served in a church in the Golden Triangle area. Water was lapping at the front porch of the house where they lived. Their church became a shelter, when the original evacuation center flooded.
Along the Texas Coast crops were destroyed by flood waters and high winds.
In many areas power is still off, and there is no potable water, making it impossible to cook.
I am thankful for canned food that can be shipped in and eaten with minimum preparation.
It may not be fresh and local, but it is certainly a blessing to people who have lost everything and are hungry.