When my friend Lazy Locavore first talked with me about her food choices, I thought that I had misheard her.
"You're a loco-vore?" I asked. "A crazy-eater?"
"No," she said with a laugh. "I'm a locavore. I eat locally-grown foods."
I didn't think much about this until she handed me a pound of locally-raised ground beef.
"Try this," she said.
I put the meat in my refrigerator. Again, I didn't think much about it until I took the meat out and actually looked at it. This was Meat with a capital M. It smelled fresh, it looked fresh, and it was very moist, almost bloody. I could practically visualize the cow, which initially set me back a bit. But my husband and I persisted and soon we had tasty hamburgers for dinner.
"Huh," I thought. "Maybe there is something to this locally-grown food stuff."
A couple of weeks later, I was standing in a farmer's market, looking for ripe apples. Taking a sniff of the rich and lovely scent of fresh produce, I realized something. I miss the smell of food. So many things you pick up in the grocery store these days are almost devoid of smell.
But what really got to me were pumpkins. This year, my boys went on several hay rides and soon we had a porch full of pumpkins. Lazy Locavore persuaded me to cook one.
"It's not hard," she insisted. "I can do it and I'm lazy about my food."
Several of our pumpkins were true carving pumpkins, hollow inside with a slightly off smell and few seeds. I was glad that Lazy Locavore had taught me to look for a small, solid pumpkin when baking. When I found one that literally bent the knife as I tried to cut into it, I knew I had a keeper. It looked something like this (sans the face):
Now, several days later, my pumpkin looks like this:
And here's what I learned: Pumpkins are food! I had been completely ignoring the fact that people actually eat them. I just saw them as ornamental.
The most important thing that the locavore movement has taught me so far: when we no longer relate to fresh foodstuffs as food, something needs to change.
Photo credits: Mama Joules