My Experiment

Prompted by my post of two days ago (Unhappy Meal), I decided to conduct an experiment. I would go to every grocery store in the city to find out just how much local food was available for purchase. Over the last 24 hours, I have visited six grocery stores, one health food store, one corner grocer, one specialty shop and one shop aimed at tourists. The results were downright depressing.

Some stores, including the health food store (to my surprize), didn’t have one item produced or grown in the Yukon. A couple of the stores had Yukon grown potatoes. I found local tea, honey, jams and birch syrup (although the jams and syrup were made with sugar, so I don’t consider that a local item).

The little corner store scored the highest. The manager said whenever they can they get in local produce. Unfortunately, yesterday the only thing they had were potatoes and some Taku River salmon.

Next I placed some calls to some of the farms I knew of. The answer was pretty much the same…they had nothing for sale at this time of year, but come see them in the spring and summer.

So….if I wanted to eat locally this winter, here are my options:

1. caribou, fish, and a bit of last year’s moose from our freezer
2. rhubarb from our garden, and wild cranberries, blueberries and cloudberries
3. eggs from a co-worker
4. potatoes
5. basil, mint and parsley from our garden
6. labrador tea
7. honey
8, the possibility of some goat milk and cheese from a farm not too far from our house

No oil or butter, no wheat, no grains, no green vegetables (no vegetables at all apart from potatoes), no sugar, no salt, pepper or other spices, no legumes or rice, no pasta, and little if any dairy.

Looking at the list, we could survive the winter on this in an emergency, but it certainly wouldn’t be fun. And I definitely wouldn’t get buy in from the boys in the house. So, the next question is: what is the next best option?

The health food store is full of organic produce from the States and the other side of the globe, so that doesn’t appeal to me. In the grocery stores, I can find root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, cabbage, onions, etc. from B.C. and Alberta, although I noticed that a lot of the produce just says “Product of Canada” – it doesn’t say where in Canada. The bakery has an organic food club, and I believe they try their best to buy food that hasn’t travelled for hundreds of kilometres. We used to be a member, but we found that with five of us, the weekly food basket just wasn’t big enough. With three, it might be worth giving it another try…at least for the winter, until I can get my garden going again.

Suggestions, anyone?

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