Dove è coltivate?

by admin on March 4, 2009

Dove e cotivate?…..an Italian sentence that I’ve mastered….it rolls off of my tongue just like non parlo italiano….you have to start somewhere…..

Where is it grown?  Yes…I’ve been knee deep in Slow Food Nation again….it’s a slow read as it is an intense book….the stories are great…..the technical parts are painful for me as spending too much time in my left brain can prove hazardous to my health…but I know…this is real….and I want to understand it all….even if I have to read one page a night to absorb this….we have a huge responsibility to rebuild our planet….on all levels….and it can’t happen if we are not willing to do the hard work….gain the understanding….knowledge…and then apply it to our choices in the marketplace.

The book brings out some very interesting points to ponder….one in particular that has made me reflect is that we need to pay attention to the carbon footprint of the product we are buying….and perhaps organic zucchini grown in Mexico has a bigger footprint then a zucchini that is locally grown….but not necessary organic.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not an advocate of eating pesticides but there are so many farmers who farm without sprays, etc…but cannot afford to get the certification of organic.  So…dig a little deeper into the stories of your food…

I have to admit that I used to buy zucchini at Sunshine Market that was organic…it was from Mexico (that is why I used that example)…and it always felt a bit odd…but I wanted organic…..aha…..I want I want……I never gave thought to the resources that were used to transport it to our market….

Another example of my ignorance…we have been buying the most amazing apples from Elizabetta…the kids are devouring them…..the other day….after I learned my new sentence…I asked Elizabetta, “Dove e coltivate?”  She looked at me with a confused look as most Italians do when I try to speak their language…..so I said it again….very slowly….”Dove e coltivate….le mele?”  and she again looked as if I just told her that her mother was ugly….so finally I said….”grown…mela…dove grown?”  She laughed and said “ah…….”…and then she got a squimish look on her face….”ah….those come from Argentina….they are not in season here so we have to get them from Argentina.”….my heart sank……and I could tell she was not proud to give me that information…..as the majority of things in her shop are local….and the best…and I know just by all of my encounters with here that she believes in local…..but she’s in business…..I get that…and she has to give the people what they want….so she can survive…..and as a small business owner, I know how she feels.  But herein lies the problem my friends….we are each others own enemy….don’t demand…she won’t have to carry….and the planet wins….the only loser is the “ego” that WANTS an apple.

So I went home…with my dieci (10) Argentinian apples and announced to the girls….these apples are from Argentina…..and they both looked at me…..wide eyed….”but mom…we have virtually no carbon footprint here compared to home” Kaelin cries, “ In our biology class last year, we had the second highest carbon footprint of anyone in the class….can’t we just eat the apples since we don’t have our suv?!” she joked.   I stayed quiet for a few minutes as I pondered the whole situation….I try not to be fanatical about things…but this is real….our planet is suffering and we need to do whatever we can with the knowledge we have to support its recovery…..our habits need to change…..it isn’t really about the 10 apples….buts its about the priniciple…how can I be an advocate for our planet and then make choices that don’t reflect that…I believe that’s called hyprocrisy.

hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē|
noun ( pl. -sies)
the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

Yes….that is hypocrisy.

Why is it such a big deal?  If I continue to demand things that are not in season…nor grown locally…then I will be feeding the supply…I will be supporting a market that is not healthy for our planet.  I don’t want to be on that team…nor do I want to set that example for my girls.  Is it a pain in the butt to believe that we, as individuals, have impact?…oh yea it is!  But one thing we tend to overlook is the emotional and (I believe), spiritual impact that good choices have on your being…much more satisfying then the fleeting sensation of a sweet apple.  (and I had NO intention of tying this in with good and evil….hmmm :) )….so if we can just get past ourselves and our ego and receive the real goodness that comes from that then it will be all down hill from there…

And…please…don’t get overwhelmed or fall into the “my small choices don’t really matter” club….just break it down…one ingredient at a time….and next time you pick up a food product in your local store….ask yourself that tough question……Dove e coltivate?  And make the right choices..for yourself…and your planet.

Oh…and about the apples….the kids have never asked for them again….although I’d like to believe that I have molded them into teenage advocates for the planet….I think it may have more to do with the discovery of the oldest gelato shop in Florence…just 3 blocks away…..lots of footprints there…but they are mainly ours leading to and from our apartment!

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