I just spent almost $30 to can tomatoes.
And I’m not even sure if it’ll work. Lots of people keep telling me it’s easy, so I’m hoping I can figure it out (hearing so many people say it’s easy gives me both comfort and added pressure. On one hand, it’s easy, so it should be fine. But on the other hand, if I mess it up, how much of a jerk will I be? Apparently about 30 bucks and a few hours’ worth).
This is the next step in my effort to eat locally…it makes sense that tomatoes grow in Ohio in August, so if I want to eat tomatoes in January then I need to learn to preserve them in some way.
I read this article the other day decrying the local movement as mostly misguided. They sited the example of people in NYC being lambasted for buying a California tomato due to the energy required to move said tomato across the country for consumption. Apparently these same people will buy local greenhouse tomatoes in December or February, even though just as much energy (or more) is required to grow that tomato. Huh. I begin to see the editorialists’ point.
For us, it’s not just important that our food be ‘local.’ Local food often gives me an added benefit of knowing the person who grew it, which lets me have a clearer picture of what its history is. Also, someone who looks me in the eye every week is less likely to feel comfortable withholding information about what chemicals may or may not be involved in my food’s production. I think relationship is important to me in the food aspect of my life, as in other aspects. We as a culture are so disconnected from each other. I am only recently beginning to realize how deeply the disconnect runs–we don’t ask ‘nosy’ questions of each other. We don’t want to think about where our vegetables come from–ick! dirt! We eat meat, but God forbid we should have to touch something that resembles a dead animal!
I decided a couple of years ago that if I was going to avoid veganism but live a morally integrated food life, I needed to become okay with touching something that I recognized as a dead animal. Now when I prepare a chicken I spend time thinking about that chicken and all the hands that touched it on its way to my plate. And what was previously just something to shove in my mouth becomes…something important, and something to be thankful for.
Paul told the church at Colosse, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
To me, this means we should be grateful for every action we are blessed with the ability and opportunity to take. How can we be grateful for something we are not willing to really think about?


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