December 20, 2010

the cold hard facts of eating locally

Fog, snow, ice. A recipe for a weekend inside of baking, oysters and wine...and reading. Although the flour from my pizza dough was Québecois, the olive oil is from Palestine, the wine, Chablis, and the anchovies, Morocco, oysters... PEI. So although eating locally in Québec is possible, when not an absolute purist, an imported wine is not a sin. La Via Campesina by Annette Aurélie Desmarais, a teacher at the University of Regina, has written a book about a peasant movement which now has 148 member organizations from 69 countries, including Québec's Union Paysanne, addresses in fact what local really means.

'La Via Campesina promotes a model of peasant or family-farm agriculture based on sustainable production with local resources and in harmony with local culture and traditions. Peasants and farmers rely on a long experience with their locallyavailable resources. We are capable of producing the optimal quantity and quality of food with few external inputs. Our production is mainly for family consumption and domestic markets.' Via Campesina website.

Anyone interested in eating from local farms is eventually going to realize how close Monsanto or Dupont really are, how restraining and sometimes corrupt government regulations really are, and how fragile the diversity of what we eat still is and probably will continue to be as long as these corporations continue to exploit local laws, ruin local peasants, as they forcefully create systems of dependency. Desmarais' book is a great read for the end the year, uplifting and dedicated, as we all should be. Happy New Year.

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