Green is calming, green is happy, green is delicious. Recently, it’s as if my body has made some unilateral decision to go green. You know that little internal dialog that every one has? I’ve heard it speak and it said, “Salad…” When I go to the store it’s almost as if I’m possessed. I am struck with this fear that if I don’t get to the produce section quickly my head will start spinning like the girl’s in the Exorcist. And salad doesn’t seem to be enough. I crave seaweed, I look forward with childish anticipation to the time when nettles come into season, I obsess over getting a juicer so I can pour in the greens.
JJ and I had a talk once about how Indian cooking uses the best foods for you such as greens, yogurt and veggies, but then they are cooked way too long and served with rice. (The next morning he made me egg that he cooked the hell out of until they looked like grits and salted them until they tasted like sea-water…hmm. I’m really still sad that he didn’t want me to cook more often.) He and V also commented on how food in America tastes different. I had this experience when I went to Europe and I’ve heard it said many times before. It’s part terroir and part genetically-modified-chemically-treated-food-terror, I imagine.
From Wikipedia, Terrior: comes from the word terre “land”. It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestowed upon particular produce. Agricultural sites in the same region share similar soil, weather conditions, and farming techniques, which all contribute to the unique qualities of the crop. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place,” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the production of the product.
Local foods are good for you in large part because they have terroir. Honey, for instance, can be derived from different local pollen’s. So if you have allergies to certain pollen’s, eating raw honey can help acclimatize your body. Local and organic foods do not have the same amounts or types of chemicals (if any) that factory veggies have. Check this out…
From Tryst Cafe.com: According to studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Consumer Reports and the Environmental Working Group, the following vegetables have the highest levels of pesticide contamination.
1. Celery – 94.5% of celery sampled were found to contain pesticides.
2. Spinach – 83.4% of spinach sampled were found to contain pesticides.
3. Potatoes – 79.3% of potatoes sampled were found to contain pesticides.
4. Bell Peppers – 68% of bell peppers sampled were found to contain pesticides.
And what kind of pesticides are these? This is what the Pesticide Action Network study found: 8 known or probable carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins and 6 developmental or reproductive toxins. Factory veggies are, on average, 50% less nutritious than organic vegetables or even a vegetable on the market during WWII. They are also more likely to contain yummy things like Salmonella, Listeria, and e. Coli. For those of you not familiar with Listeria it’s symptoms include convulsions, it can invade your nervous system and a common complication from it is bacterial meningitis. That shit really can make your head spin. Now doesn’t that make the few extra dollars you might spend on local, organic food seem worth the price?
Spinach Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing
- Carrots, shredded
- Edamame, raw
- Chickpeas, cooked
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- TJ’s chili-lime cashews
- Pearl tomatoes
Ginger Lime Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced (or grated using a microplane)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (or 1/2 jalapeno, depending on how spicy you like it)
Combine everything but the jalapeno in a blender and blend until emulsified. Add the jalapeno and pour into a serving container.