Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tomato Sauce Blues...and Buying Locally

I've got the blues... I've got tomato sauce blues...

It's GONE. All GONE! Summer better be here soon!!!

Last summer I had an abundance of extra tomatoes in the garden. I froze a substantial amount. Made salsa. Ate plenty fresh. But there were more...

So I made Basic Tomato Sauce (p. 168) from the Simply in Season cookbook. To preserve more nutrients, I froze it in pint size jars rather than canning. Although it was easiest when I removed it from the freezer a day ahead, I learned that it also wasn't difficult to pull out a jar, even right when it was time to start cooking, and defrost it in a bowl of warm water. The recipe has "hidden benefits" like carrots, green pepper, onion, garlic, and lots of fresh herbs.

When I first started using this strange new concoction, I wasn't sure what to think. It looked so "un-tomato saucy" compared to the canned stuff I was used to. But, oh, how good. I could actually SEE the ingredients. Flecks of carrot. Green pepper. Herbs. Wow! What a change! Tonight, sigh, for the first time, I had to resort back to the store boughten stuff. Now I think IT looks weird!!! Talk about processed!!!!!

While I was cooking dinner I was listening to a radio show about how dependent we are on China. The commentator talked about how our credit card, buy-it-cheap lifestyle started the ball rolling. And we are now so dependent that we couldn't NOT buy from China even if we wanted to.

It's so odd to think about. One hundred--even fifty years ago--we knew where our food came from. Today, when I look in my pantry, there are few things that I can trace back to an original source. I have no idea where that tomato sauce came from...the label only indicates where it was distributed.

Did you know that most apple juice comes from China? I live near one of the apple capitals of the U.S., but I can't find frozen apple juice in any local store with apples grown on this continent. If you're interested, look on the tippy top of the edge of your frozen juice carton. Up on the edge, under where the metal lid clamps down, you might find the "made in China" label. I wonder how those apples were grown? What pesticides or insecticides were used? How the people were treated who grew the apples? How much money those people were paid? And how much fuel it took for it to reach my table?

Can't wait for summer!

1 comment:

jennifer said...

Oh me too. And you are so right on.......

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