This article really caught my attention. Party because I’ve always wanted to travel to India but mostly because it has to do with my favorite subject: food. It’s not a pleasant read. Apparently milk contamination is nothing new there- it’s common for milk to contain fertilizer, bleach, or detergent to thicken it and give it a frothy appearance. The apple vendor thinks nothing of lacing his apples with carcinogenic chemicals to artificially ripen them. He says everyone does it, has been doing it for a long time, and things aren’t going to change. India has a major, widespread problem with food contamination and they are struggling to enforce what food safety laws they do have. So scary.
Just when I am feeling like our country is doomed with all the fast food restaurants and junk food sold in stores, I read something like this which opens my eyes to the big world beyond our cozy America. We are very lucky here. We have choices and we have fresh foods available. What’s on our fresh foods as far as pesticides and preservatives is another story and a serious concern- but at least we do have some sort of food safety laws in the US. Questionable yes, but undoubtedly better than in India and many other parts of the world. As much as I want to travel to other countries, it scares me. I hear about places where you can pick fresh papaya and pineapple in your yard and that sounds amazing- but how can you trust things like the food vendors are selling in India? There are many places where you can’t even find clean water to drink.
I just got through washing some grapes (product of Chili, of course, couldn’t find any others). I kept thinking how incredible it would be to have my own grape vine in the backyard where I could pick and eat grapes not sprayed with dangerous pesticides. Grapes that don’t have to travel thousands of miles from another country to get to me.
Every summer for the past several years we try to grow some plants in our garden. The basics- like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, onions, peppers, collards, and kale. We have fun starting seedlings inside, watching them spout and grow, but many of them just seem to die off. Last year the zucchini started out flourishing and I thought we’d have a big patch of squash, but they all died. The tomatoes became diseased and rotted on the vine. Is it due to inconsistent watering? Lack of some nutrient in the soil? I wish I knew. Something is not right and this summer I want to learn a lot more and have a yard full of fresh produce. I have no green thumb whatsoever but I want that to change this year.
We’ve got raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes plus a little strawberry patch. All fairly new and we’ve told ourselves they need a season or two to get going. So far, nothing. We even bought 2 fig trees, a key lime tree, a meyer lemon tree, and 3 kiwi plants at Logee’s last spring. Last summer we kept them in their pots outside, except the kiwi which we planted. They all go somewhat dormant in the winter and need to come indoors (not the kiwi). We have the lemon and lime plants in the front window which gets the most sun:
No lemons or limes yet but I do see some kind of buds.
The two figs are down in the room next to the garage. They are just waiting for spring to arrive so they can go outside, get warm, soak up some sun, and produce yummy figs! Fingers crossed for these guys. I looooooooooooove figs.
The kiwis are a hearty variety that are actually supposed to do quite well in our zone. We got two females and one male. They didn’t do a lot last year as far as growth, and it even looks like one of them is about dead. Is it our soil? What is going on here? What do they need? I often wish I lived in a climate that was ideal for growing these kinds of foods year-round. It seems like we only have a few months to try here in Rhode Island.
My one pride and joy that is producing actual food is my kale. Am I the only one who grows kale indoors in the winter? Probably! I discovered that they grow so much better when I give them water. I’m learning.
I want apple trees, cherry trees, peach trees- you name it I want it and I want it in my yard. We have all these educational books and I have to get reading them because spring is just around the corner.
There is something to be said for making the effort to be more self-reliant. Who knows what is going to happen to the food supply in the future. There are a lot of terrifying theories floating around that topic.
Has anybody had any interesting food experiences while traveling to other countries?
How about any success growing your own food?