If You Had to Eat Completely Local...a Challenge!

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ninjafaery

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Here's a little "food for thought". What if suddenly all imported food was banned from being transported further than ? kms?
How would this change your way of thinking about eating and preparing food? What local substitutions for non local favourites would you consider?
Where would you turn for information?

The toughest ones for me would be coffee (of course), and tea, but also spices like cinnamon and fruits like lemons and olives.
 

Lastpointe

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I read a while ago that Leamington, which used to grow tons of tomatoes for Heinz before the pulled out, has a huge number of green houses. Some thought of repurposing them to grow other types of vegetables year round.

i Would miss coffee, can drink mint tea so that is ok. would Miss lemons, though it is possible to grow a lemon tree indoors. Olives and olive oil. They grow olives in Croatia where we have a family cottage. Property has five or six olive trees. A couple of years ago, the cousins harvested them and took them to a press to make their own oil. Took tons of time, got three bottles of oil of something

chocolate would be another issue. And imported spices

but veggies I could buy locally and grow. We live in apple country to have fruit trees. They grow grapes so can drink local wine. Cider beer, gin

local farmers I am sure would start up with flour and there are old mills around. Lots of meat and poultry producers. Though I think a long time ago the province closed local abattoirs. But that could be opened. Lots of fresh fish from the lake, just not salt fish. Local dairy makes cheese, butter, milk, ice cream

so I think we would manage though more expensive for sure. Would just require a change in diet thoughts
 

Mendalla

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Honest answer? We would probably move to someplace better positioned to get what we want/need.

There is a host of really good, really healthy vegetables in our Asian supermarkets that are definitely not grown locally and I can't see us giving those up. There was a farm in Flamborough when I was working in that region that was growing Asian product. But it's not common.

Fruit would be down to berries and apples, maybe grapes and some stone fruits (cherries, peaches) assuming Niagara fell within the given range. Citrus is a valuable thing given its high vitamin C content and I like it so that would be a problem.

Not worried about dairy. Southwestern Ontario has plenty. There's even some small cheese operations doing "foreign" cheeses. I know the Dutch father of one of my son's friends had a place North of here where he could get good Dutch-style cheeses. I regularly buy Armstrong cheese, which Saputo makes in the Tavistock cheese factory and is easily within local food distance of us (I drive by the plant en route to Kitchener-Waterloo if I go the "back route").

Seafood would be another problem for us. Mrs. M grew up in a seaport (Shanghai) so her native cuisine is heavy on it and we eat it a lot, both Chinese and Western style. We could try to stick to lake fish but it wouldn't be easy. So, again, a move to one of the coasts might happen.

Meat? We mostly eat chicken and pork, both of which there's plenty in Southwestern Ontario. We don't eat a lot of beef these days and it would be the hardest to get so I think we could manage.

Tea I would miss but could do without. There's herbal teas that could be made locally and I would look for those.
 

ninjafaery

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I'm intrigued by these....a tropical fruit that grows in Southern Ontario. Pretty easy to grow in the right location. Not a northern plant.
Where I am now, good, local food is abundant too. I love access to really fresh fish like Atlantic salmon and haddock at reasonable prices. I was a bit taken aback last summer to see that peaches from Ontario were such a disappointment. Not local here. Wild blueberries on the other hand are very affordable and good.
 

Mendalla

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It's not so much fruit I am worried about. It's being able to get yu choy, mishi, and a couple vegetables I don't even have names for ("asparagus lettuce stems" is the best I can do for one). There's some that would just be a matter of our farmers realizing there's a market for them (e.g. Pea leaves, though I am not sure what type of legume they actually come from. Perhaps snow peas, which we do grow here.), others that no one outside the Chinese/East Asian community even knows about. Things have improved in terms of availability, to be sure, but I am not sure how much of that is locally grown and how much is imported from more suitable climes like the Southern US and Latin America. I suspect it is mostly imports.
 

ninjafaery

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Are pea leaves the same as pea sprouts? Those are delicious. I think they're pretty easy to grow. I tried it with just dried whole peas once and they sprouted and grew well. Theoretically you could grow them in the kitchen.
 

paradox3

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I have never heard of them. Not by any of the names you mention. Never knew anyone ate them, either.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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Honest answer? We would probably move to someplace better positioned to get what we want/need.

There is a host of really good, really healthy vegetables in our Asian supermarkets that are definitely not grown locally and I can't see us giving those up. There was a farm in Flamborough when I was working in that region that was growing Asian product. But it's not common.

Fruit would be down to berries and apples, maybe grapes and some stone fruits (cherries, peaches) assuming Niagara fell within the given range. Citrus is a valuable thing given its high vitamin C content and I like it so that would be a problem.

Not worried about dairy. Southwestern Ontario has plenty. There's even some small cheese operations doing "foreign" cheeses. I know the Dutch father of one of my son's friends had a place North of here where he could get good Dutch-style cheeses. I regularly buy Armstrong cheese, which Saputo makes in the Tavistock cheese factory and is easily within local food distance of us (I drive by the plant en route to Kitchener-Waterloo if I go the "back route").

Seafood would be another problem for us. Mrs. M grew up in a seaport (Shanghai) so her native cuisine is heavy on it and we eat it a lot, both Chinese and Western style. We could try to stick to lake fish but it wouldn't be easy. So, again, a move to one of the coasts might happen.

Meat? We mostly eat chicken and pork, both of which there's plenty in Southwestern Ontario. We don't eat a lot of beef these days and it would be the hardest to get so I think we could manage.

Tea I would miss but could do without. There's herbal teas that could be made locally and I would look for those.
Ha, I’d see you coming back to Nova Scotia.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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I'm intrigued by these....a tropical fruit that grows in Southern Ontario. Pretty easy to grow in the right location. Not a northern plant.
Where I am now, good, local food is abundant too. I love access to really fresh fish like Atlantic salmon and haddock at reasonable prices. I was a bit taken aback last summer to see that peaches from Ontario were such a disappointment. Not local here. Wild blueberries on the other hand are very affordable and good.
You don’t have peaches in New Brunswick? We do have some here in the valley, though, can’t say there are plenty to go around, I guess there are good and bad years with peaches, so maybe its not worth growing in large amounts?
 

ninjafaery

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You don’t have peaches in New Brunswick? We do have some here in the valley, though, can’t say there are plenty to go around, I guess there are good and bad years with peaches, so maybe its not worth growing in large amounts?
I think ideally peaches need a bit more heat to do well. Down where you are is a beautiful little biome where soft fruit can grow. I've only seen Ontario peaches here, but that doesn't at all mean other growers sell elsewhere.
 

Mendalla

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Ha, I’d see you coming back to Nova Scotia.
Perhaps. We did like it there. Just couldn't find work for me there as easily as she could back here. With the library school at Dal, most of the library jobs were going to locals.
 

Seeler

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Define local - is it within 100 klm? Or could it be the Maritime provinces (I think there are some fruits and vegetables that grow in the Annapolis Valley but not in New Brunswick.

What would I miss most? Tea and coffee, my daily banana, citrus fruit or juice, sugar. I would replace tea or coffee with another contract (local herbs or roasted dandelion roots?) Other fruit or berries. Maple sugar, honey, sugar beets to replace sugar cane which will I to much of anyway. fruits and vegetables, and eatables in season – fiddleheads, blueberries, raspberries can all be found growing wild. choke cherries along old fences of abandon farms. Many of these farms could be reclaimed to grow vegetables for the local market.

Fish could make a good part of my diet. Not just salt water fish from our seacoast, but trout and salmon from our streams and rivers. Gasperow are plentiful in the spring and going with fiddleheads. Farmers could also grow our own meat – beef, pork, poultry - supplemented by wild game.

I would try to find some cookbooks from 100 years ago - the ones my grandparents used. I would have a big rhubarb patch. I can survive and probably be healthier than with all the imported foods.
 

KayTheCurler

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We did a pretty good job of eating local when we lived on the farm. We grew almost all our veggies and much of our fruit (though some had to be processed with sweetener). We had our own chickens and eggs, a cow for milk, butter and once for meat, but more was bought from a local farmer. Also goats for meat. Now we are in town we have cherries, apples, grapes, a few raspberries 'wild' fruits like chokecherries etc. Not a sufficient supply of anything to last a whole year though. In season we can get other items at the local farmers market. Our meat comes mostly from local growers. Tropical items are bought - and if they became unavailable we'd likely just have to go without.
 

BetteTheRed

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Canadians did fine with "local" food for a few centuries. We could manage. Spices not as difficult as you think; I can grow coriander, cumin, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric here. Citrus and olives harder, but greenhouses,

Coffee, I could wean myself off. Tea? Maybe figure out how to grow it here...
 

Mrs.Anteater

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I couldn’t live without chocolate, but if I had to, I would be a lot thinner.
 

Mendalla

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Tea? Maybe figure out how to grow it here
I've been to a tea growing area of China, even walked into a tea plantation for a look at the bushes, and I cannot see it being grown in Southern Ontario, sadly. The climate and geography just are not right (this was in a fairly mountainous region). But the indigenous people had tea-like beverages (leaves steeped in hot water anyhow) so we can look into those.
 

ninjafaery

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I can't find anything that contains caffeine outside tropical zones....coffee, tea, chocolate and cola seem to be it. I have done without coffee and tea for brief times. I suppose getting past the crashing withdrawal headache and days of a fatigued feeling. The aroma always brings me back.
Home freezers were taking off when I was growing up, so we had frozen cod and out of season strawberries sometimes....and we had oranges and orange juice, grapefruit, bananas and canned pinapple. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, vanilla, lemons, bay leaves, black pepper, white and brown sugar are flavours I'm accustomed to, and desserts would seem bland.
We were a family of tea drinkers. Coffee was rare and instant. For some reason, we only had Minute Rice. I thought that was kind of weird given we didn't have other convenience foods. I think all grains for bread and cereal were grown in the prairies. Salt was mined in Windsor Ontario.
Cultural influences seemed few. I distinctly remember produce like broccoli, zucchini, peppers, lettuces other than iceberg, and green herbs were "exotic" and were first grown in people's gardens. Olive oil was sold on dusty shelves in tiny bottles.
So with those exceptions, everything was pretty much locally produced or found with about a 100 mile radius. Market was weekly year round and twice weekly during growing season. There were several dairies and butchers. Cholesteral wasn't on the radar quite yet, so butter, shortening and lard were still commonly used.

I found this website because they have appealing products that show what's local and edible, but I'm very much against monetization of wild crafted foods in such quantities for restaurant supplies. If they are supplemented by plantings on private property, great. Enough should always remain to ensure a good crop each year.

 
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