Today, I ate a tomato.
There are 12 inches of snow on the ground, it has been below freezing for a while, and I had the wonderful joy of eating a tomato on my sandwich.
An avocado showed up too, and baby spinach.
And, the best part, red pepper slices.
It was so good.
This is only a big deal because I have been eating a local only diet for the past six months, and I live in Massachusetts.
Things like tomatoes, avocados, and spinach do not grow in MA in the winter. Because nothing grows in MA in the winter. (Besides the snow drifts, that is).
But earlier this week, the local eating portion of our program (The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Program LINK) ended.
I feel free. I can eat an orange, I can eat a banana, I can eat some Wheat Thins with marshmallows and Welch’s grape jelly. (insert stomach ache) I won’t, probs, but I can!
I am in a frenzy of options. There is so much food, and I want to eat it all.
If I were in a musical, there would definitely be a scene in which I run through the aisles of a grocery store throwing candy everywhere.
This is not to ignore all I have learned in being a locavore, but a time to participate in the food system in a different way. That participation is choice.
I sat down with my housemates to evaluate how we would change our buying and eating habits now that we are no longer constrained to the New England soil. Poptarts and ketchup were enthusiastically mentioned.
Then our joy about all the food went downhill pretty quickly. Because we realized that though we have to freedom to choose whatever the heck we want, we don’t want most of those foods.
We still want to know what it is our food, where it came from, and how it was grown.
We decided to keep up with the farmer’s markets and our CSA, we opted for the local butter, milk, and egg options, and grocery stores would be our last resort.
Wait, what? But what about all the candy?
As we talked about how we wanted to eat, it became our choice to stick with “as real food as possible”.
This is our new rule.
And maybe some candy when the mood strikes.