Thursday, January 8, 2009

Produce Rant

Since I set up this blog just to participate in Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Mondays, I thought I'd spend some time checking out the other blogs on the site. They are wonderful! Sigh...I wish I could figure out how to make my template that's for another day. Food wise, there were some great ideas! I looked over the blog where the author cooked in her crock pot EVERY DAY for an entire year! She was invited on Rachel Ray's show and has a book deal now- that's impressive. The only problem is reading about what everyone else is eating made me hungry. ;) What I really want, though, is STRAWBERRIES. I knew they were in season around now but I thought it was a little early, then I heard a report on the local public radio that they are ready to go, so I can't wait to take the kids down to our favorite U-pick place (unfortunately it's an hour drive, so we can't go more than once or twice per season) and load up. Nothing like strawberries fresh out of the field! I'm so spoiled now I won't even look at the supermarket strawberries. I mean, how can they call those things strawberries, anyway? They look good, but they taste like cardboard. They ship them from the other side of the country and that's where they lose any flavor they may have had to start with- on the truck. Why can't I get LOCALLY grown strawberries in the store? It's ridiculous. (Warning: soap box is present.) Then there's the peaches. We live ONE STATE away from Georgia, but do you think we can get Georgia peaches in the summer? No way; they have to come all the way from California and they taste like GARBAGE!!! Georgia peaches are yummy, drip down your chin delicious, but can we get them anymore? Nooooo. There are a few fruits that travel well, grapes, for instance, but there are others that just don't, yet there they are in the stores anyway. Last summer I stopped by a roadside truck selling watermelons. I asked the guy where the melons were grown and he told me about an hour away. I got that thing home and it was the best watermelon I've had...ever. Ever! It was delicious! My husband asked if I got the guy's name, and unfortunately I didn't. I've driven by his parking spot since then and he hasn't been there; I'm so sad, and craving that melon. :(

This always reminds me about a conversation I had with a hairdresser once. She said she hates produce- all of it, fruit, veggies, all of it, and I couldn't imagine anyone feeling that way, then I thought about it. She just doesn't know how good REAL, locally grown produce should taste! If she's only ever purchased the grocery store swill they pass off as produce, then how would she know?

This seems to be a recent phenomenon, too. It's only been over the past few years that they stopped bringing in the Georgia peaches over the summer, for instance. What happened? Someone once told me, or I read it somewhere, that it has to do with tax breaks for shipping produce, and it benefits someone or other to go ahead and transport food all the way from one side of the country to the other. So does that mean my state's yummy strawberries are going out to California, where they wind up as tasteless over there as the California strawberries are over here? Things I wish I knew...although if I knew for sure maybe it would make me angry, then I'd have to try to do something about it, and there just aren't enough hours in the day! ;)

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