Have you ever thought about the food items in your home and at the grocery store? I’m sure you have. But have you ever thought too hard about it?
I met with a business owner recently who provided an intriguing, if alarming, Prince George statistic that you may have heard before. The idea was a scenario that if Prince George were cut off from the rest of the world we would run out of food in 48 hours.
This notion put forward many thoughts on how much we really depend on other agricultural and manufacturing regions for our dietary subsistence. This is an issue I have not thought about lately, but I certainly see behaviors that are influenced by this bubble mentality.
My foodie background
To give brief background on myself, I am half Scottish. There are stories in our family of relatives jarring enough fruit to feed an army for fear of another food deprivation, like the Highland Potato Famine. My own transition with food came when I had a kidney stone requiring surgery at 19 years of age. It was not a fun experience at all. Thinking too deeply about food comes from my time at University. I found that cooking was a guilt-free way to procrastinate. I also became a vegetarian for three years after the influence of working in bush camps during my summer treeplanting employment, and this introduced me to many alternatives to familiar recipes.
Sourcing local food
Working downtown now makes a huge impact on this food association. Of all places, I have found the downtown with two farmers’ market locations, has put me closer to food than ever before. I honestly cannot tell the difference in quality most of the time, the Grieves are a fast-eating/chew-with-your-mouth-open kind of family you see. However, buying “local” has become a very creative way for me to cook.
Using fewer ingredients
What I do is buy just one fresh local ingredient of fresh produce, and then get suggestions on how to create a meal around it. When I bought tomatoes I found some bread crumbs and feta cheese plus spices to stuff them with. I was challenged to make Yakitori Negima with some green onions I purchased. When I had no sake for the sauce I improvised and made an amazing bourbon-brown sugar glaze. One day I walked into the grocery on 3rd and the owner shared her brie and sourdough with me, and then offered to give me some rhubarb from her own garden. It just happened to fit in with pork tenderloin I was planning and I topped it with a red-wine sweet onion rhubarb sauce.
This has become my new food craze. Not gluten-free, or carb-free, but ingredient-free. I am downsizing the number of ingredients I incorporate into my cuisine. I am reducing the number of variables in my formula. I am shrinking the table of elements in my gastronomy. I will cut any corner to get a meal basic.
My old shopping patterns left me suffocated by choices. Shopping locally filters this overwhelming sensation I otherwise get at the Supermarket to fill my cart. The only place to go now is my own garden, a much larger project that leaves me more greenhorn than green thumbs. I am still debating this possibility.
To see more of my cooking ventures follow me @clarkgrieve or #baconlovers on anything you post (even if it has no bacon in it!). You can discover food and drink websites on the Move Up Prince George amenities map.