Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Strange groceries

I didn't realize what a strange assortment of foods I'd bought at the Publix tonight until there was some confusion about the ownership of a pound of ground beef.

"Did you buy meat?" the cashier asked.

I was caught off guard. "I...I just bought trout and rabbit," I stammered.*

Yes, more of that gorgeous pecan-smoked trout from Atlanta. And a new discovery: rabbit farmed in Florida! I found it, as one finds many odd local meats, in the freezer section.

I won't pretend I've eaten perfect all-local meals for 23 days straight. But at the very least I am paying much more attention to where produce comes from. California rules the roost produce-wise, of course. But I am startled to find how many of our fruits and vegetables come from Honduras, Mexico, Chile, Guatemala.

It definitely makes me think twice about the Australian lamb I have been (until now) buying on a weekly basis.

I've been trying to get hold of a farmer in Washington, Ga., whose motto is "No Mystery Meat Here!" He raises cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens free-range and free of hormones and antibiotics. But so far he hasn't called me back. If it weren't for my lucky finds at the Publix--and for the ever-resourceful s.o., who has caught us two more lovely catfish tonight, we would be hard up for meat of any kind.

That would be fine, of course, especially since we both used to be vegetarians. In fact, tonight's dinner was all-veg. But I'm just saying: It's harder than it looks.

Top row, from left to right: Corn chips from the Golden Flake factory in Alabama; Duke's Peanut Oil from Virginia; Syfo sparkling water from Florida; Red Brick Ale from the Atlanta Brewing Co.
Middle row: Vidalia onions from Georgia; peaches from South Carolina; yogurt, potatoes, and bean sprouts from Florida.
Front row: Rabbit from Florida; pecan-smoked trout from Georgia.


* The beef belonged to the guy who'd been in front of me in line. The bagger had to chase him down and give it to him.