Sunday, August 8, 2010

An honest endeavour to eat better.

Hi. Welcome.

This blog is here to document what I eat. I know, you're thrilled. Let me explain:

I've been living in Germany for the last 5 months and I've discovered that an alarming amount of food is imported. Ok, we all know that supermarket food is always going to come from somewhere else. But even the things I'd expect to be locally stored, even if not in season, come from somewhere else. Apples from Argentina, anyone?

So I'm making an attempt to eat more local food. This is a little difficult, because the sleepy town of Paderborn doesn't have a Farmer's Market. So I'll just be shopping at the Saturday Dom market, reading my labels at the supermarket, and doing the best I can. This means that even though the Dom Market has some decidedly non-local produce (I'm thinking about those bananas from the "Bri"/Organic stand) I'll just use my common sense to think about this frigid climate and what's in season.

There are some products important to how I eat (for example, soymilk) that I know aren't produced locally. But the brand that I choose is produced in the UK and Belgium, so between 300km and 600km away, at a guess. That's still less distance than from Adelaide to Brisbane, which is about 2025km. I've been choosing 'Australian grown' fruit for years, forgetting that Australia is an incredibly large country. I need to remind myself of what "local" means.

In Adelaide, I had access to the Central Markets, to the Wayville Farmers' Markets, and to other food sources. I was well-informed, interested in sustainability, and able to find fantastic-quality products within a few minutes of home. Here, I'm a little more isolated: I'm just beginning to get a grip on the language, in order to be able to read labels and product descriptions. But I still read as much as ever, to keep myself informed about what I'm eating and how it's affecting everyone else's life, as well as my own. And, at long last, all the food blogs on my blogroll are synchronised with the season I'm living in! It's a minor miracle.

I think my main problem will be dry goods. I've noticed already that products that I've seen on supermarket shelves don't have a 'country of origin' identification, and the markets here don't have a vendor dedicated to pantry staples. I can only promise I'll do the best I can.

I know it's not much, but it's better than nothing. Baby steps...

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