Eating in Winter

The food on your plate this week could bring us all  closer to a better, safer world, or it could be a harbinger of a nightmare. You, and your fork are deciders.

You  can choose a new world order that offers food from the Southern Hemisphere in the dark days of our winter. Or you can choose cucumbers that sat for three weeks in customs at the Mexican border, because they are out of season here.

This week the choice is stark. Local farmers, whose well went dry in midsummer’s drought a couple of years ago, today find themselves looking out at a vast pond where that produce you ate last week came from. What do we eat now?

It is tempting to take a deep breath and brush past this conversation. Our grocery stores are still overflowing with fresh produce. But, our food system is increasingly fragile. It depends on finite fossil fuel and an increasingly unstable climate. And it is a major contributor to climate change.

So this week we have broccoli soup again and a lovely French celery root salad. And, because we live in California, land of lemons, we have lemon meringue pie and lemon bars. And we have the prospect of some cabbage to make Japanese okonomiyaki. And much more.

And every bite we eat puts us in touch with the totally food centric cultures of all of human history. The practice of eating from, and supporting, local food systems is strengthened, renewed and enhanced as we rediscover and reinvent this older, wiser, safer path. Enjoy!