It’s been years since I did any canning/preserving but I’d been thinking of reviving the tradition for a while and this weekend I set out to make some salsa. It actually was less work than I remembered and the salsa is so, so much better than the store-bought variety. I’ve already been into it myself and gave a jar away to my neighbours.
While only some of the fresh veggies came from my own garden (I didn’t have enough for the 3 batches I made), they were all fresh Ontario produce and I’m excited to be able to store some of this freshness for the winter ahead.
My success with this project has encouraged me and excited me to try some new endeavours in canning (as I mentioned, I have done salsa before, although not in years). I’m determined to try to can peaches and pears this summer/fall especially as I realized that the canned ones I usually buy from the grocery store are imported from South Africa! How truly ridiculous is it that we live a region that grows some of the best peaches and pears in the world and our grocery stores are importing them from the opposite side of the globe!
I recently watched the documentary “Food, Inc.” (which I would highly recommend) which has caused me to reflect again on my eating habits and the increasing complexity of where our food comes from. It seems like we are in the process of forever losing the days when farmers and individuals produced food for themselves and their communities. Instead we have allowed ourselves to embark upon a food production system that more closely resembles and industrial plant.
I’m glad to see a bit of a resurgence towards eating locally grown produce and shopping at farmer’s markets. I wish the government was doing more to support this sustainable food system rather than the mass-production, mass-marketing of unhealthy, unethical, unsustainable options out there.
While it’s perhaps not manageable for any of us on a food budget to purchase locally food all the time, we can begin to make small changes in the choices we make and the food that we buy and eat. As the documentary points out, every bite we take is our vote (for the type of food production system we want). Are you happy with how you’ve been voting?
This weekend I spent considerable time considering the food I eat and choosing to not only eat locally grown produce but to prepare this myself to allow for this to be eaten through the year when it otherwise wouldn’t be available. As a result, I am more conscious than ever about what that vote stands for, for my own health, for the environment, for the well-being of farmers and for my community.