Yes it’s a long title, I know! Today (le 12e nov) we learned about some common household belongings, many of which I didn’t even know the name of in French!
Dishwasher : Le lave-vaiselle : die Geschirrspülmaschine
Stove : La poèle : der Herd
Oven : Le four : der Backofen
Carpet : La moquette : der Teppich
Washer: La machine à laver : die Waschmaschine
Dryer : La sécheuse : der Trockner
Alarm clock: Le réveil : der Wecker
And a few words in light of the impending arrival of winter:
Snow plough: Un chasse-neige: ein Schneepflug
Frost: Le gel: der Frost
Slippery: glissant: rutschig
Snow shovel: Une pelle à neige: eine Schneeschaufel
Mittens: Des mitaines: die Handschuhe
Today I am also going to rain a bit on everyone’s parade and talk about something that I think needs to be a bit more common: buying local and organic seasonal food. I have several reasons for supporting this. One of them is my experience; since switching to eating this way I have noticed a remarkable change for the better in the way I feel, despite not sleeping and being under a lot of stress.
Keep in mind, these are my thoughts, you are entirely entitled to your own on these issues.
My other reasons include trust and global environmental impact. I don’t trust big companies very much, and I don’t like when I can’t see the faces behind where my food is coming from. The Marché Jean-Talon has really impressed this on me, in that I have conversations every week with the people who sell me my fruit, eggs, honey, and vegetables. I know that the man who sells me strawberries took over the business from his father and grandfather, that he loves hockey, and has two children. I can’t say the same thing about people behind the products I could buy at a big grocery store chain. The average food in your grocery store has also traveled a long way to your hands and kitchen table…. in fact on average, 1500 miles! (for both organic and conventional, if you buy at a grocery store). I want to reduce the threats on our planet, reduce climate change, and help my local community economy. One of the best ways I can do this is by buying local products from within the city and the province. It’s even better if I take it directly from the hands of the grower/producer. Your food will also usually last longer, since you are cutting out all the time the food spent travelling to get to you! I even had a tomato last 3 weeks on my counter before going bad!
I also have a big priority to eat organic food, where possible. There is a lot of evidence showing there is no difference between the nutrient content of conventional and organic food, but this doesn’t matter to me. My body feels healthier when I eat organic, and I enjoy eating the food more because it is generally more flavourful. Now I will spout the stereotypes about organic food. There are 2 different types of organic foods: Certain ones only meet the bare minimum to be labelled organic, and that while possibly healthier than conventional foods in production method, still have their flaws. The other type, usually a local product, has not been mass-produced, and the grower or manufacturer has gone beyond the bare minimum requirements for that product to be labelled organic. “Organic” is a hype marketing word now, intended for a certain consumer sector, so it can be difficult to find products that are actually produced in the most simple methods, and not just marketed as being produced “rather simply” (without pesticides, herbicides, or genetic mutations). You probably know that conventional food producers use chemical pesticides (usually applied by people in hazardous protection suits), incorporate genetic enhancements to their crops to help them produce their own “pesticides” (meaning the plant is technically poisonous to creatures…including us! and it is now genetically modified), grow hundreds of their product in a small crammed space (chickens, carrots, etc, doesnt matter if it is an animal or plant), and inject animals and plants with chemicals and antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, falling to diseases, or not looking appetizing to the consumer. Often they use soil with a few basic added compounds to keep the plants nutricious, however trace minerals (very important!) and not often included.
In organic growing conditions the animals are treated far more fairly, not injected with antibiotics and growth hormones, and the food they are fed is also organically grown. For organic plants the soil hasn’t been conventionally treated for at least three years, and soil and manure is as natural as it comes.
The debate will always be present whether or not one should buy organic food or not, but regardless of that standpoint I think eating mostly local and seasonally available food is a valid point. In addition to eating local products, eat seasonal. This means eating foods during their actual growing periods. Eating greenhouse-grown or imported strawberries outside of their natural maturation period contributes to environmental pollution. There is no reason to eat strawberries out of season in winter; it’s an unnecessary luxury of our modern age. Use foods when they are in season, and for the other months you can store them, freeze them, dry them, can them, or make jam with them. Aim to eat your food in the most unprocessed form. It should not come in a box with a list of ingredients. It should come with the leaves and stems still attached, looking gnarly and wild, with some dirt on it. That’s food.
Here’s a playlist of videos based on some of my thoughts of eating seasonal local organic food.
And before I go, here is some local beer and wild boar sausage I picked up this week, Absolutely love it. The beer has three different types of tea it, and tasted absolutely amazing.