August 7th, 2013
The shelves of our founder’s library are brimming with interesting books about food, cooking, and agriculture. Recently, we dug into Animal Vegetable, Miracle, an amazing book that chronicles a family’s pledge to eat only locally-grown foods for an entire year.
The author, Barbara Kingsolver, writes about her trek from Tucson, Arizona to rural Virginia, where she, her husband and two daughters begin living off of the food they grew on their own farm. The book is filled with fun family antics and compelling facts about eating local.
Did you know that the average food has travelled 1,500 miles before it reaches your home? According to the book, if we all made just one meal a week from locally and organically-raised meats and produce, we could cut our country’s oil use by over 1.1 million barrels each week. Whoa!
What can you do?
Visit your local farmer’s market. Buy locally-grown veggies and fruits and support organic farming.
Plant a garden. There’s nothing more fun than growing your own veggies and sharing them with friends.
Eat free-range. Look for eggs, meats and dairy raised without hormones on free-range farms.
Know where your food comes from. Look at the origin of your foods. Whenever possible, buy from sources close to your home. All the organic ingredients Pacific uses are Certified to the Source, and come from local or regional growers whenever possible.
Eating local isn’t just earth-friendly, it’s tasty. Here’s one of Kingsolver’s recipes to get you started.
Grilled Vegetable Panini
Summer Squash (an assortment)
Salt and pepper
Slice vegetables lengthwise into strips no thicker than ½ inch. Combine olive oil and spices (be generous with herbs) and marinate vegetables, making sure all faces of the vegetable slices are covered. Then cook on grill until vegetables are partially blackened. (You may want to use a grill basket for onions and peppers.)
2 loaves of French Bread (16 to 18 inches long)
2 8 oz. balls of mozzarella
3 large tomatoes
Cut loaves of bread lengthwise. Arrange bread on baking sheets and layer with grilled vegetables first, slices of mozzarella next, and slices of tomatoes last. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and place the baking sheets under a broiler until cheese is melted. Garnish with leaves of fresh basil. Cut in pieces and serve. (We recommend serving with a warm bowl of Pacific Tomato Soup.)