Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The real cost of Seasonal Food 2011

“Food looks set to cost more at the till this year, although economists say higher commodity prices are good news for the economy” Food prices fell 0.6 per cent in November and 0.8 per cent last month, according to Statistics New Zealand, with seasonal falls in vegetable prices the main contributor

There a couple of things that stand out in  this statement that was published by the NZ Herald on the 18 Jan 2011.    It simplifies all food under a commodity price and then brings Mother Nature in as the discounter.  Masanobu Fukuoka, author of The One Straw Revolution (Japan, 1978) says  "If you think commercial vegetables are nature's own, you're in for a big surprise. These vegetables are a watery chemical concoction of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash, with a little help from the seed. And that is just how they taste”
If we continue to treat all food as a commodity then America wins and we willalways  have the bland, tasteless, faceless vegetable products that line their supermarket shelves enforced upon us, they may look like vegetables as we know it but they have been designed to sit for as long as they can and travel vast distances with deterioration rather for taste or nutrition.  The key to real food is to eat seasonal, to choose what is best at that particular time of the year and enjoy, knowing that it will be available again for you 10 months later
So what is the real cost of food then, as Author  Michael Pollan puts it   “ Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies (American Chocolate Bar)  is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?” 
Why is water more expensive than coke or milk, why are potato chips cheaper than potatoes – why is all food treaded as a commodity rather than for what it really is ? To many questions and not enough words to answer but it really is a case of awareness of just what is happening around  you with seasonal food rather than just walking through life with eyes wide shut
While it almost seems a sin (some sins are good for you !!) to deep fry such a delicate thing the result is worth it because they remain just as delicate to eat. The batter coats the flowers ever so lightly but still has a satisfying crunch when you bite into its warm, creamy centre.
Sherrington Cheese & Garlic-stuffed Zucchini Blossom Recipe
6 zucchini blossoms
½ cup of soft Sherrington Cheese (ricotta cheese or similar)
1 large free-range egg
1 clove of garlic, minced¼ Cup of Fresh bread crumbs
4 fresh sweet basil leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup & 1/8 cup of all-purposed flour
1 cup of soda water
1 1/2 cups of vegetable or canola oil
Mix cheese and egg with garlic and basil and breadcrumbs, gently fill the centre of the flower. Make the batter by mixing the flour and soda water.  Roll the stuffed blossoms in a little flour and then dip in the batter, and deepfry in oil until golden brown.  Drain and serve with a summer salsa or salad or green beans and extra virgin olive oil

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