Eating Seasons

My European friends swear by it and now it’s creeping into our American health conscious culture. I heard it being espoused on one of the mainline TV networks just last week. Eat locally–that is, only fruits and vegetables that come from your local area. That means no more strawberries in January flown in from Chile. No more apples past November, and forget lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, and pretty much every other fruit and vegetable too.

What in the world are these people thinking? Can you imagine the diets of the residents of North Dakota anytime between October and July? No fruits and vegetables growing there–and not many anywhere north of Florida or Southern California for that matter either.

A few years ago a Belgian friend turned up her nose at the very idea of strawberries in January because “they weren’t in season,” but she had no compunction about stocking up on oranges. I reminded her those weren’t in season either–at least where we lived–but that somehow didn’t matter. Definite case of strawberry discrimination.

I am supposing that the advocates of the Eat Locally–and therefore Seasonally–would not allow frozen anything either. No, of course not, because even if it had been harvested and frozen in season, the consuming of it out of season would be breaking the main rule.

Just think what this alleged logic would mean to the food industry. Close down all the growing fields, except those that are furnishing the local population–and put the economy into chaos, considering all of the packaging plants, distributors, truckers, air freight companies, and grocery store personnel that would no longer be needed. Might as well eliminate the produce departments in most grocery stores for nine months of the year.

And back to the original question, what would the poor people in North Dakota, and most of the rest of us too, be eating during most of the year? Meat, eggs, milk, bread, pasta, cheese, and chocolate? (I wonder about the bread and pasta though, coming from wheat and other grains as they do–and what about those cacao beans? Might be breaking the seasonal rule with any of those.) Vegetarians would be wiped out for sure.

I once had a French friend who claimed she ate only chocolate in the month of November. I don’t know what the logic in that was–maybe that’s the chocolate growing season in France. She was, after all, a big proponent of the seasonal eating plan. Not living close enough to where she lived to be able to prove her claim that she was limiting herself to chocolate only, I never really found out if woman can exist on chocolate alone. Perhaps it’s worth looking into.

Just think how kids would love this Eating Seasonally idea…and maybe some parents too. No more battles over “eat your peas.” Only downside might be no more chips and no more fries—potatoes are not in season in January either.

Didn’t the pilgrims already show us what eating locally–and seasonally–does to population numbers? And wait a minute–they were definitely eating locally, but those pilgrims were eating out of season–all those nuts and dried fruits–shame on them!

Someone needs to get hold of these people with who are promoting this Eat Locally/Seasonally idea. They have obviously overlooked a number of points they might want to consider before they go too far…like how many of us they expect to lose from the population during the first winter. Quite obviously, they haven’t even thought of that–or have they?

Wait a minute–I know who’s behind this. Osama bin Laden. What a perfect way to destroy a whole naïve population of Whole Foods addicts. Never say I didn’t warn you.

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