Eating Well; the Personal, the Social and the Global.

FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
We eat to live, but how we do both is a complicated business.

On the personal level we probably aim to eat for health and pleasure. And immediately discover a tension between the two - some foods are Right but Repulsive, others Wrong but Delicious. So we are told. Every bag of groceries is a personalised response, conscious or not, to multiple pressures. And don’t get me started on the diet industry and its unpleasant offspring, body shaming.

Then there’s eating in company - one of the most enjoyable and cohesive activities of life. Or another arena for competitive display. And that’s just in the home, never mind eating out...

And in the hard times a-comin’ - how do we eat then, or indeed now, if we think that may make a difference.

Personal position: I need to alter how I eat and drink in the interests of beating back Type 2 diabetes, and sundry other ailments. But otoh frequent good food and still more, good wine, is how Mr F and I stay cheerful between oncology appointments.

I see this thread as not so much arguing the Ought so much as just sharing how we work out what is best (and what ‘best’ means).
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Comments

  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Firenze, I love reading your menus here. Some things are too sweet for me but the main courses sound wonderful but I am with you all the way on the wine.

    Will write later. Internet has just gone down as power is now off work on power board in preparation to installation of many solar panels. Using .4G on phone but it is a PITA.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'm sufficiently fond of food that I sometimes wonder if I live to eat rather than eating to live ... :blush:

    My late dad (bless him) was very fond of saying "everything in moderation", although he didn't always live by it when it came to wine or whisky. Don't get me wrong - he wasn't an alcoholic, he just enjoyed a glass or three ...

    I think his mantra was a sensible one though, and it seems to me that apart from foods which for some reason (diabetes, allergies or whatever) make you ill, then nothing should be off-limits.

    I'm not a dietician, but it seems to me that a varied, and mostly healthy, diet is the best way to go.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I believe in moderation -- nothing to excess -- an Epicurean in the classic sense. But not "everything" in moderation -- shrimp, avocados, sushi, cilantro are among the inedibles that the devil spreads on our tables to sicken us with.

    As for dieting . . . I think it was one of the Halloween movies in which one of the characters opines that the reason why we diet is so that we can eat out with friends without embarrassing them.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    You're right about cilantro/coriander if you mean the forests of half-chopped leaves that used smother every dish. The seeds, finely ground, are a different story - try them lightly sprinkled over a lamb steak before it is barbecued.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Sometimes I eat things like kale, because they're good for me, and sometimes I eat things like chocolate, because I love it. I always have my dinnertime red wine; at this moment, having read this thread, I have poured myself a wee dram of the Highland Park 12 "Viking Honour," Because I Can. Pour votre très bonne santé*.

    * My approximation of "To your very good health," in French.


  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Firenze, I love reading your menus here. Some things are too sweet for me but the main courses sound wonderful but I am with you all the way on the win, especially a good red.

    Sweet stuff has never been very important to me but was to the ex Mr L .Give me tart rhubarb and thick cream but forget the icecream.

    Perhaps this is also mental as well as physical . I know my walking problems are. Can you work out substitutes which are just as enjoyable
  • I've been eating the dandelions out of the lawn. For breakfast. A cool spring has keep them from bitterness. Leaving a few for the bees. The bees and me are friends.

    Baking tomorrow. Because baking bread is my thing for some 40 years.

    I've some lovely pickeral (walleye, it's a fish) gifted me from a grateful man who caught it.

    Tomorrow is a dandelion, pickeral breakfast. And we have saskatoon berry jam.

    My necktie for tomorrow will have flowers on it. I should like one with dandelions. It'd go well at the meeting with gov't types tomorrow.
  • Personal/social/global.... one can tie oneself in knots in the attempt to be a saintly consumer. In the globalised economy it's impossible. We can aspire to be, but must resign ourselves to falling short.

    I eat healthily without a whiff of Puritanism. Very few sweets tempt me, but it's not virtue unless you're resisting temptation. My gastric problem has resulted in my eating smaller portions but (God be praised!) not eliminating anything from my diet. I'm actually much more comfortable. I try to eat local product, but one can get only so far with that. Very little in the way of preprepared or processed foods. Omnivorous and adventurous.

    NP - pickerel and dandelion salad for breakfast? Delicious! I'll bring a nice bottle of crisp white Burgundy. Shall we say 9am?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    That's an ... interesting breakfast! How do you treat the dandelions?

    Miss Amanda, can I help you out with your shrimps and avocados? :wink:

    Actually, I'm just back from a late-night foray to the supermarket with a bag of five avocados for about $5.

    Guacamole, anyone?
  • I'm with you on the shrimp and avocado, Piglet, and we'll consume anyone's fresh coriander, to spare them the trouble - we eat it almost like a vegetable. I believe there's a genetic component to that, in the same way some people can't abide broccoli while the Intrepid Grandson could be bribed with it (doesn't require bribery any more).

    We none of us eat processed food other than the occasional pork pie or the like; all cooked from scratch, cheaper, tastier and much better for you, but we are lucky enough to live in the country and have a local butcher, greengrocer etc.

    Sadly, although I have a good diet, I just eat too much of it :blush:

    Mrs. S, enthusiastic cook
  • I'm finding the balance challenging too, between health and pleasure and the competing dithers about ethical consumption and living on a tight budget.

    Just for the record I love kale - not boiled, but in a mixed stir fry, or crisped in the oven. I don't like the taste of meat so don't find vegetarianism difficult, but my daughter does. She's dairy and wheat intolerant (and shellfish/crustacean allergic), so we're currently compromising and eating far more meat than I'd like - mostly chicken and eggs, pork and some fish. According to most suggestions chicken and pork are the least environmentally damaging, although there is a debate about uplands lamb. The lack of wheat isn't too bad as rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, potatoes and sweet potatoes are all gluten free and diets based on any or all of this list are not unhealthy. Unfortunately gluten free cakes and biscuits are usually not bad, as it would be far better for me if they were disgusting.

    When I was looking up things for a Purgatory thread, I found a handy-dandy list of foods affecting the planet - and have since cut out dairy for me too. We've known my daughter is dairy intolerant since she was a teenager so I stopped using cream and butter then. When she went to university, I thought, "Yes! eggs cooked in butter!" bought some butter, tried them and found my tastes had changed. I also prefer soya cream to give a bit of oomph and a creamy texture to some things, but I've never really liked cream either, would much prefer my strawberries without, thank you very much. I suspect what I dislike about meat is the animal fat, as game, which tends to be very lean, is less distasteful. But cheese, I'm going to miss cheese.

    There is an old Colin Spencer book on my cookery book shelf called Cordon Vert which starts from the premise of cooking 52 dinner vegetarian dinner party menus with wine and cheese lists, which I hang on to as it has some really interesting seasonal recipes. If you can get your hands on it, it may give you some ideas and an entirely new version of competition.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    I've always been hugely interested in food history and food politics and have volunteered to help prepare meals for school feeding schemes and soup kitchens over the years, grow some of my own produce, make my own pasta and bake breads, put up home-cured olives and pickles. Out here in the Cape, food thrift is not so much about shopping for bargains but doing it oneself by processing and freezing gluts of produce from community gardens and local farms.

    Because I did restaurant reviews while working in media and helped develop and edit cookbooks, I have a number of chefs and brilliant cooks as close friends and love to eat out at fine-dining restaurants when I can afford it. For much of my life I had a cast-iron digestive system and could eat anything, so I was a greedy and adventurous eater.

    Now I get heartburn from strong coffee and any dish with tomatoes in it, cucumber repeats on me, I don't tolerate dairy well. It's a big adjustment and I experiment with lighter, more plant-based dishes. I do miss occasional treats of rich food.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    My current discovery is the courgette in salad.

    Cook slices on a griddle until softened a bit, let cool, and then mix with shredded lettuce, and finely sliced celery or radish (for textural contrast). Lemon and walnut oil dressing.

    This green bowl - can include lightly cooked sugar snaps or fine or runner beans, raw fennel, scallions, shallots - plus walnuts and a top dusting of feta or stilton - is my go-to lunch at the moment.

    But otoh I am going out tonight for a 7-course dinner + wine tasting. One of the friends I will be with has been my role model for celebratory hedonism for many years: think kitchen re-enactment of the Venice Carnival.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    My digestive system has got more problematic over time, and I have to be careful what I eat. I generally have a simple diet, with basic foods from scratch, because my body finds that easier. Lots of fruits and vegetables - I like having all the colours, and I like vegetables generally to be raw, if they can be eaten raw, so I eat lots of salads. I eat mostly salads and stir fries. And fruit salads with yogurt and nuts. I also like boiled eggs with toast soldiers. And cheese - I like different cheeses, and I eat cheese with grapes. I like meat and fish too - my favourite meats are lamb and duck. People often think I'm vegetarian because they see me eating salads with nuts, but I'm not - I just don't eat meat every day, and if I make myself a packed lunch for work, I don't put meat in it, because meat needs to be kept cold.

    I usually buy food when it is reduced because it's reached its use by/sell by date, so I live very cheaply. I don't tend to have ethical dilemmas, because when it's reduced like that, it would only otherwise be thrown out, so better to buy it and eat it, if it is something I will like. I do also try some unusual foods because they are reduced, and I can get food that is normally quite expensive, because people don't buy it and then it's reduced.

    I also love crisps, which I am aware is about the salt and the crunchy texture. I try to not eat them very often. I am recommended to have a high sodium diet by my doctor, and I get salt tablets prescribed too, and actually, if I take my salt tablets, then I don't crave crisps so much.

    I find it helpful to do a kind of intermittent fasting sometimes, where I only eat in a two hour window of the day - this gives my body chance to rest and not always be busy with digesting food. My body gets overwhelmed easily, and my mind too - I enjoy food, but I can get a weird sort of sensory overload from eating. And in recent years I just feel constantly full, even though I'm not - this is also what I mean about my digestive system having gone problematic.

    Things I don't like are milk and cake and custard and puddings and ice cream, which has always made people think me weird! I also love black liquorice, which people find weird. I do love prawns, avocados, sushi and coriander, but that is not normally considered weird.
  • Nutrition is actually very complicated. Which is why the received wisdom of 'experts keep changing their minds' is so prevalent. It's not that we've discovered that a high fat diet is not bad for you. It still is - but that if you end up with a high-sugar diet in order to avoid the fat, you create different issues.

    But here's a simple way of looking at it:

    Go veggy 5 days a week. Humans are omnivores. It is entirely possible to be healthy and vegetarian but it is more difficult to get essential amino acids and iron without meat. Not impossible, just more difficult. So a bit of meat in your diet is a good thing. But we don't actually need very much - and by reducing our meat in-take we reduce our fat in-take too. A high red meat diet (especially if you add in processed meat) is definitely a risk factor for bowel cancer.

    Now, I have to be honest, I don't do this. I like meat too much, and there's few vegetarian meals that I like. But there's a nice half-way house of eating more chicken and fish and less red meat.

    The advantage of this approach is that as well as being good for the individual, and actually a nice, varied and interesting diet from a social/pleasure point of view, is that it's better for the planet too.

    Just my thoughts...

    AFZ
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Talking of processed - I am amused to see how things that were on the further shores of faddy eating a few years ago are now available conveniently processed and packaged - quinoa, lentils, brown rice, kale crisps, spelt in bread, tofu, endless variants on the felafel.

    You want to go vegetarian/vegan? We have a factory for that!

    I think of myself as an Everything From Fresh cook, but do I boil up my own stock? Nope. Those dinky little cartons of gel. 15 minutes to boil rice when I can microwave a packet in 2? As for soaking pulses overnight...
  • I still soak some pulses overnight, but tins are convenient and not much more expensive, having costed it out. Fortunately for my Everything From Fresh vibe most of those packets include either gluten or dairy or both (or something else on the not to be eaten list, although that list is reducing), which means they stay on the shelf. Unless we're away I cook rice from scratch all the time. My stock is either from scratch or Vecon.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    If kale seems like a chore to eat, I would highly recommend kale pizza. Standard pizza dough. Stir fry onions, garlic, mushrooms and shredded kale and add to top of pizza, with some cheddar cheese (not mozzarella) before baking. The kale tastes like crispy seaweed when the pizza is cooked.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I make stock, but it's just the leftover juices from when I roast a chicken or duck, so doesn't take any extra time or effort. I just pour the juices into a mug, and the jelly part is good for stock. The fat part is good for roasting potatoes.

    I soak pulses overnight, but mostly I then sprout them, just in a saucer, because I like them sprouted, and it's a very cheap and nutritious vegetable. Doing things from scratch is generally cheaper, I find, though sometimes you can get a nice ready meal reduced to 20p, and I buy those and put in my freezer for days when I'm too tired to cook. But things like cooking a chicken for a couple of hours or soaking pulses don't take effort - they just involve waiting.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I haven't eaten supper at home since Saturday evening and won't again until this Thursday. A hectic home and work week means I am eating sub-optimally on the run. I look forward to cooking supper this Thursday.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    According to most suggestions chicken and pork are the least environmentally damaging

    According to my father, whose boss owned a chicken farm among other enterprises, if you could see how a chicken farm operated, you'd never eat chicken again!
  • Personal/social/global.... one can tie oneself in knots in the attempt to be a saintly consumer. In the globalised economy it's impossible. We can aspire to be, but must resign ourselves to falling short.

    I eat healthily without a whiff of Puritanism. Very few sweets tempt me, but it's not virtue unless you're resisting temptation. My gastric problem has resulted in my eating smaller portions but (God be praised!) not eliminating anything from my diet. I'm actually much more comfortable. I try to eat local product, but one can get only so far with that. Very little in the way of preprepared or processed foods. Omnivorous and adventurous.

    NP - pickerel and dandelion salad for breakfast? Delicious! I'll bring a nice bottle of crisp white Burgundy. Shall we say 9am?

    Coffee and tea at 8:45. Bring sunglasses and hat. At 9 we have the nicely chilled Burgundy and breakfast. It will be outside beside the fish pond. I suspect we may be here all morning.
    Piglet wrote: »
    That's an ... interesting breakfast! How do you treat the dandelions?

    Miss Amanda, can I help you out with your shrimps and avocados? :wink:

    Actually, I'm just back from a late-night foray to the supermarket with a bag of five avocados for about $5.

    Guacamole, anyone?
    Dandelions: pick leaves and flowers mainly. All parts of them are edible. The roots are usually too fussy for us unless approaching the size of small parsnips. Rinse well re dirt. I tear the leaves up a wee bit and put them into a frying pan on low, stirring around until nicely wilted. A wee bit of oil and butter (may daughter taught us to use 50/50) and some sea salt at the end. They are edible raw, but not my preference. I sometimes will throw in left over, almost ready to compost, stems and butt ends of other leafy things like lettuce, kale stems.

    Note: if someone has been putting dandelion killer on the lawn, you mustn't eat them. We left the lawn for 5 years before eating things from it. We also eat lambs quarters and plantain leaves, which are usually weeded from the vegetable garden. I have a daughter who is a botanist and my dearly departed grandmother in law was a homesteader and knew everything edible.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Well that was interesting. Tiny restaurant - seating for about 20 max. 4 chefs visible in the kitchen at the end of the room. 7 courses, tiny helpings but exquisite flavours. With matched wines, about £80 per head.

    Normally the kind of thing - extravagant, cheffy - that I take agin, but I totally enjoyed it.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Tell us more, Firenze? I'm also ambivalent about expensive cheffy tasting menus but have been proven wrong on occasion. Intrigued by your mention earlier of a 're-enactment of the Venice Carnival'.
  • NP - pickerel was the first fish I caught. I was eight years old, fishing with an uncle. The fish was three pounds. He taught me how to gut it and cook it. I loved fish before, but it was a culinary revelation. Many years later, a friend was back in Canada with his husband, a Brazilian. We were at a restaurant and pickerel was one of the specials. I ordered it and told him how good it was. He followed my order, and tucking in said (insert heavy Brazilian accent), "This is delicious!" A convert made. An honorary Canadian, too.
  • According to most suggestions chicken and pork are the least environmentally damaging

    According to my father, whose boss owned a chicken farm among other enterprises, if you could see how a chicken farm operated, you'd never eat chicken again!

    If you could see how most meat is produced you'd never eat meat again. That one had me very selective about all meat for years - free range farm gate, game or not at all.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Yes, you two, my son watches all the chicken farm, beef slaughter house, turkey factory footage on Youtube and eats none of the above. He was hard enough to cook for when he was vegetarian but now he's vegan (the poor dairy cows with their babies taken away) and its put us almost exclusively into Mexican food. At least we all like that, although my quacamole recipe and Mexican rice dishes would probably kill most British people. Fair payback for the headache I get just from reading about all that "crisp white wine." I agree that a lot of our tastes are genetic. My parents couldn't drink any alcohol at all.

    My great nemesis is sugar. I gave it up in 2018 and lost 50 pounds, resumed eating it in December ("Just for the holidays," I said) and gained it all back. Now I'm trying to get back on the wagon, but rather like some people with their wine, I find life barely worth living without pie, cookies and donuts to brighten up the day.

    Moderation is not an option with me.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Twilight wrote: »
    My great nemesis is sugar. . . . I find life barely worth living without pie, cookies and donuts to brighten up the day.
    Sugar is a poison that should be banned.

    I find that some of the sugar substitutes (especially sucralose) taste better and are just as easy to cook with. I know, I know, they come with health hazards all their own, but then again so does life in general.

    I also find that the so-called sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, etc.), which are neither sugar nor alcohol, if consumed in moderation, can serve as an acceptable substitute for the poison stuff. If consumed to excess, they can wreak havoc on your plumbing, if you follow my drift. Surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly), some foods that are generally considered good for the plumbing (e.g. prune juice) are high in naturally occurring sugar alcohols, which explains their effect.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Tell us more, Firenze? I'm also ambivalent about expensive cheffy tasting menus but have been proven wrong on occasion. Intrigued by your mention earlier of a 're-enactment of the Venice Carnival'.

    It’s this place. It seems to regard itself as a gastronomic research lab rather than a regular restaurant.

    Living room tented with fabric, all gold food, guests in full 18th C fig - that sort of thing. My friend was - still is, to the extent age and considerable disability allows - a maker of exquisite historical and theatrical costumes, and a regular attender at the Carnival (Elizabeth I in a wheelchair).

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Thank you, that does look intriguing @Firenze and it sounds as if you had the perfect hedonist companion in costume! That Research Hub heads off in interesting directions too.
  • We eat mostly vegetarian - mainly because Mr RoS is too lazy to chew meat, or cut it off the bone.
    If I serve meat he cuts off every scrap of gristle or fat, or the suspicion of fat, and takes away a huge margin of meat "just in case". So, for the sake of matrimonial harmony at the dining table, meat in this house is mostly mince or is processed in some way.
    I am perfectly happy with a mainly vegetable diet most of the time, but I do love meat and am currently craving a nice pork chop.

    This may be because I have had an unplanned week eating hospital food,* followed by a week of eating whatever I could assemble from the fridgeful of barely-still-fresh food that Mr RoS couldn't be bothered to prepare for himself while I was not at home.

    *would you believe it? A cardiology ward where no decaffienated hot beverages were available!
  • BabyWombatBabyWombat Shipmate
    Husband loves cooking and trying new recipes. While still working he cooked his way through every Julia Child cookbook (before those sneaks made that movie!). Once retired he repeated that feat and went on to cooking everything he could find of Simca, Julia’s French collaborator. He then roared on to all the recipes he could find from Michael Chiarello, and then Fabio. He then switched to baking and one summer went through every variation on focaccia he could find. We’ve been baking our own bread for years due to my sensitivity to additives in American wheat, and only use flour grown in Italy.

    Once done he went on to cooking his way through a huge book of braise recipes. And now he tries just about every recipe printed in the UK version of the magazine Country Living. (Had a yummy tart last evening of leeks, smoked salmon and something eggy). Now that I am retired I join in the madness. Current joys are working our way through a Thai cookbook -- marvelous flavors!

    Tiresome doctor does suggest some weight loss, but since I see her only once a year I cope.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Heroic endeavour @BabyWombat

    I read cookbooks mainly for the characters and the scenery rather than the actual plot (ie recipes). I did look into Sophie Grigson on fish last night and lifted the idea of a sauce for fish based on onions and orange juice.

    But mostly dinner is based on a sort of psychic communication with the contents of the fridge (tell me what you want to Become) crossed with Googling unlikely combinations of foodstuffs.

    (I sympathise with the fat/gristlephobia @Roseofsharon I once did a casserole for a guest where the Whole Point was the melting, unctuous texture of those elements after long cooking - and begob but he carefully eviscerated every morsel like they were poison).
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    edited June 24
    @Firenze, I've also had success with Mediterranean fish recipes from Sophie Grigson and William Black.

    At the moment we have a glut of ripe oranges from the Cederberg area of the Western Cape: my favourite winter salad is peeled and sliced oranges, finely sliced fennel and olives with a light vinaigrette.

    Also very cheap right now are fresh Medjool dates from the Orange River. I smuggle these last into sticky toffee pudding when serving meals to friends who aren't wild about dates. A friend of mine with diabetes says fresh dates are low to medium on the glycemic index and she uses them often in winter.

    @BabyWombat Wombat, in a parallel life I would be very happy to be married to your husband. I have food writers whose recipes I trust (including Diana Henry, Naomi Duguid and Elizabeth David) but finding the right ingredients is often hard so I improvise on even classic recipes.
  • Oh, dear God! ML and W! Your diets and tastes are mine, despite being antipodal.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Thanks, PG -- but in terms of the title of this thread, we'd probably have to talk politics about the globalisation of food.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    edited June 24
    People have been trading food from one end of the known world to the other since the year dot. The bits I have problems with are the ironing out of seasonality and I think - oddly enough - the narrowing of choice. By which I mean, if you can sell year-round Golden Delicious, why bother with a wider range of varieties bred to ripen at different points in the season, and for differing end uses? (And btw what happened to wrapping the harvest in old newspaper and keeping it in cardboard boxes? We used to be still eating apples from our tree at Christmas).

    Still, perhaps Brexit may reintroduce us to the joys of UK specific fruit and veg. (I look forward to the mangel wurzel marketing campaign).
  • FWIW I think the French are much more used to eating in season than the British. You’re hard pushed to find peaches and apricots at the wrong time of year, for example, and what unseasonable stuff there is doesn’t sell well because it doesn’t taste of anything. OTOH, I think our climate does give us a wider range of seasonal stuff to choose from, especially in the winter.

    Tomatoes are just coming into season now. They’re heavenly fragrant meaty delights, nothing like those watery suckers you get the rest of the year.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I do try to eat local produce, but when there were cherries for sale in the middle of winter, imported from the US at great expense, I carefully chose 15 and ate them very slowly.

    They reminded me that summer would come and lifted my spirits.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    If we had the kind of open air markets I’ve seen in France, I would be all over them.

    But the nearest I can get to Continental eating is the local Polish deli. I buy packet soups because they have flavours like borscht and dill pickle, which, unlike say minestrone or mulligatawny or Thai chicken, have not entered the British mainstream. (Why not?)

    I buy mysterious cartons of salad - vegetables in creamy dressing - which are more interesting than coleslaw. And random selections from cold meats which, again, are wildly more varied than the supermarkets which run a fairly narrow gamut from ham to salami.

    And today I bought perogi - and if anyone knows how best to cook/heat them I would love to know.
  • I am torn. If I buy a box delivery of local organic food it all comes wrapped in plastic bags, If I buy from local grocery I can take my own cloth bags. I have asked organic delivery if they could not use paper, or for that matter no wrap at all just arrange in the box. They said no.
    I like to support our local organic farmers, but I also do not want to add to the plastic waste.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    When I started buying from the established market firm, not only did I get mostly organic, local produce but it was beautifully packed in specially made wooden crates. Nothing was squashed and it was obviously a strong point of the firm.
  • My organic box came in a returnable cardboard box. We did have a few things kept separately, but in paper bags (mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes) or returnable plastic bags (various salads) with seals.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    edited June 26
    I make trips to local farmers' markets here in summer and try to find those not catering exclusively for tourists who want the same kind of produce they find overseas (ie Greek-style yoghurt, cured olives, kombucha, sun-dried tomatoes). Not that there's anything wrong with Mediterranean produce and preserves, but here we should have more variety given the Cape's long traditions of Cape Dutch/Cape Malay/ indigenous Khoi or San dried or pickled foods.

    Some markets have local specialties and foraged or traditional foods: green fig konfyt, pickled spekboom, fresh dune spinach, suurvygies, smoked snoek, watermelon rind konfyt, waterblommetjies for soup, buttermilk risks, Cape Malay breyani or sosaties (kebabs).

    For anyone interested, a South African restaurant specialising in foraged regional dishes is featured in today's NYT, Wolfgat, in a fishing village on the West Coast.

    *unable to link -- there is something seriously wrong with the link here*
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Link fine for me @MaryLouise .

    The times I’ve been in the Cape, it was very much international hotel cuisine - very good, mind you, but not distinctively local. I do remember though a springbok carpaccio on the lunch buffet that I would hoover up when opportunity offered.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Health wise we work hard at eating Good and Delicious. We eat veggie three days a week, fish two, chicken one and red meat one. All veg and salads are fresh. We don’t eat cake or biscuits and our bread is home made.

    Making good food choices environmentally is harder. We try hard to choose unwrapped food.

    I go for animal welfare above all. I’ll eat meat if it has been reared kindly and killed humanely.
  • I find a great tension between buying local produce if I can (thereby helping our native producers and keeping down food miles) and buying stuff grown by poor people on the far side of the world where I know the local economy absolutely depends on it.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    And today I bought perogi - and if anyone knows how best to cook/heat them I would love to know.

    I've had fresh ones in Poland which I think might have been steamed - they were nice, but not as nice as yesterday's ones fried - but then most things are OK when you brown them in a pan, I think...
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    From what I can gather off the ‘net, drop in boiling water til they float and then a) eat b) fry in butter and then eat.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I did a spot of googling, and that was what I came up with. I imagine that lightly frying them in butter would make them nicer.
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