The True Price of Importing.

This week I discovered that I can never buy quinoa again. This sucks for many reasons;
1) it's a grain I'm allowed on a gluten free diet
2) it's low calorie and high protein, which means it's filling and a good meal buffer for the 5:2 diet
3) it's good for you and my pasty loving, live-in greedy bug actually blooming likes it.

But, you know what sucks more than me having to cut one particular element from my diet? Increased poverty and malnutrition because Bolivian's can't afford their staple food, due to middle class Westerners willing to pay a premium for it. That really does suck.

When I decided to do my local mission, other than deciding to buy only Fairtrade on imported "essentials", I hadn't really thought about the consequences of a Western demand for exotic produce. Unfortunately, buying Fairtrade can't solve this issue, so the only ethical choice is to stop demanding the produce. As only one person, it seems rather helpless, but I can't in good conscience continue to fund the demise of others and abstinence is the only way I can possibly even attempt to right this wrong.

If I was ever feeling wobbly about my decision to buy local, seasonal produce, this is the reality check I needed to keep me on track. If we all appreciated the vast amount of beautiful produce available to us on our doorstep, and learnt a little bit about how to use it, we can support our own local farmers, producers and economy and stop raping other countries for their essential dietary needs.

If you do one thing this week, dear reader, please go over to Big Barn, find yourself some good local suppliers, purchase something home grown and prepared and feel good about what you're eating and where it's come from.

What are your substitutes for quinoa? Polenta? Barley?


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