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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Autumn bo Bautumn

If you haven't noticed, I'm on a kitchen kick and as a result, have been trying my best to shop locally and cook within the season as much as possible. Below is a pic of me with my loot from the Portland Farmers' Market in the PSU Park Blocks. Hands down one of my favorite weekend activities, not only do I get to try at least a dozen samples of locally made cheeses, chutneys, pickles, salsas, pestos and savory dips (sometimes I end up making two or three rounds) ... I get to buy amazingly fresh fruits and veggies that have been grown by family farmers just a morning's drive away from Portland. And it's cheaper than what I could get at a grocery store!

don't worry, I've switched to a more moisturizing conditioner since this pic was taken ;)

There are three main reasons why we should shop locally and in season whenever possible:

1) Vegetables at our local grocery stores that are not in season have often traveled thousands of miles to get from a "farm" to your city. Does that sound so fresh (and so clean clean) to you?

2) Vegetables at the grocery store that are not in season are picked when they are immature, so they aren't spoiled by the time they finally make it to your shopping cart. Vitamin degradation and nutrient loss is the trade off! Um, isn't that why we eat vegetables in the first place?? Oh, you heart the taste of broccoli? Maybe it's just me...

If you MUST have that summer corn (por ejemplo) in the dead of winter, go for the frozen kind because it will have more nutrients than anything you can find in the store that is out of season. Truth.

3) Finally... just think about how much better it would be for the environment if we didn't have millions of fruits and veggies shipped cross country all the time. We like to be green, now, don't we????

For your convenience (I'm all about good reader service), I've compiled a list of some of the most popular autumn fruits and veggies. You may see a lot more on the list than you expected:

Apples, Grapes, Pears, Beet roots, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin, Pomegranates, Onions, Carrots, Persimmons, Yams, Potatoes, Lettuce, Winter Squash, Mushrooms, Celery Root, Cauliflower, Garlic, Kale

Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Beet Greens (I am not so sure if I'll be making those beet greens again... just being honest)

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