Our society’s growing consciousness about the impact of our actions on the planet’s health and well-being is being felt in the kitchen. Increasingly, the trend in recipes and cooking revolves around finding ingredients that are produced locally. Home cooks are recognizing that fruit and vegetables grown in other states and other countries gobble up energy to package and transport them to market. This leaves a big carbon footprint – a consequence that a growing number of families wish to avoid.
As a result, shoppers are seeking out fresh food and produce that is locally grown. For some, this means regularly visiting farmers markets; for others, it means inquiring about the source of fresh food at the grocery store. Many others have the desire to take steps toward finding recipes and cooking with fresh produce and other ingredients, but aren’t sure where to begin.
Thank goodness for the Internet! For those ready to take the first steps, there is an abundance of information available on the Web. Armed with this information, shoppers can learn how to buy fresh produce, discover the types of produce that are in season, read articles about fresh food, and find recipes to prepare everything from delectable fresh fish, seafood, and meat dishes to delicious vegetable courses and dessert treats.
Moreover, home cooks are discovering that cooking with locally grown fresh foods opens the door to a world of cuisines – literally. Today’s recipes and cooking trends put a global twist on fresh ingredients. If you’re in the mood for Asian food, for example, you don’t have to dine out. Instead, you can use the Web to research Asian food culture and find recipes that are easy to make at home. Likewise, resources for French food, German food, Italian food, and Mexican food are only a few mouse clicks away.
Vegetarians and those who are health-conscious are truly embracing these recipes and cooking trends. In the past several years, natural and organic foods have been finding their way onto grocery store shelves, and stores that specialize in fresh and natural foods are now a staple in virtually every city. Whether you adhere to a raw food diet or are simply trying to cut back on butter or sugar, you can more easily find the foods that you need.
At its best, cooking is an adventure. It’s fun to experiment with different herbs and spices, and to prepare your favorite foods in a new way. Combining local, fresh foods with global recipes and cooking techniques is a great way to keep your cuisine interesting and tasty.
No one would argue that eating only locally grown foods can be a challenge. After all, it would be difficult to find fresh fish and seafood if you live in the desert, or unearth a source for locally churned butter if you live in a fishing village. Just keep in mind that perfection needn’t be the goal; even incremental changes in the way we think and shop will help the planet. And, with the plethora of information about recipes and cooking that is available on the Web, putting a global twist on local ingredients can put the adventure back in dining!
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