I generally try to shop for seasonal and local products. It is common to find people promoting this idea – because it prevents carbon emissions from shipping, because it incites local economies, or because locally-grown products can have a better nutrition profile, among others.
These sound like sensible arguments, and I’d like to focus on the first. Surprisingly, the food chain’s transport sector has a small impact when compared to its other parts. Let’s take a look at the graph below¹:
According to this study, shared by the WWF, the supply chain accounts for 18% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases, while the transport sector is responsible for 6% of emissions.
These numbers are not neglectable, but they invite us to take a step back and look at the big picture.
It seems that within food systems – responsible for emitting ¼ of all greenhouse gases – animal farming is behind the production and release of over half (50%) of these pollutants, while food produced for direct human consumption accounts for 30%.
I argue that there is no one solution to halt climate change. The many and diverse efforts of everyone around the globe, when combined, will deliver a powerful blow to the environment. This works for both positive and negative effects.
Shopping locally and eating seasonal products can be more than a solution to greenhouse gas emissions. It can be a shift in the status quo and the currently centralized food system. Shortening the supply chains (and ultimately, producing one’s own food) will bring people closer to farmers and Earth’s natural rhythms.
To honor the beginning of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and acknowledge the heat waves felt by some of our community members, I decided to bring two different salad recipes today. They are both fresh, light, and fragrant, and very easy to put together. The lentil salad is slightly acidic and spicy from the vinegar and chili pepper, while the edamame salad is sweet and mild. Pick your favourite!
Besides, to accommodate our global community, and as an incentive to shop for locally-grown and seasonal products, the two recipes call for ingredients original from different parts of the world.
I hope you enjoy them!
Lentil, onion & apricot salad
- 2 cups cooked brown lentils
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 small chili pepper, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp agave
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- 3 apricots, cubed
- 1/2 carrot, grated
- Add the chopped red onion and minced chili pepper to a bowl. Season them with olive oil, vinegar, agave, salt, and cracked black pepper. (You can make this step well in advance and let the onion sit in this seasoning. A couple of hours in advance or even overnight would work.)
- To a larger bowl add all the ingredients, including the marinated onion & chili.
- Combine well and taste for seasoning.
- Dig in and enjoy!
Edamame, avocado & mango salad
- 1 cup edamame
- 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed
- 1 ripe mango, cubed
- 1/4 cup vinaigrette (1/3 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp agave, 1/2 tsp garlic paste)
- Prepare the vinaigrette by adding all ingredients to a jar. Close it with the lid and shake it until it is homogeneous. Give it a try and adjust to your taste.
- Add the prepared salad ingredients to a bowl and dress it with the vinaigrette sauce.
- Combine well, taste for seasoning, and enjoy!
Optional for both recipes would be to top them with roasted sunflower seeds.
There you go! You can prepare these in under 15 minutes and you can make a bigger batch and store them in the fridge for the following days.
¹Loken, B (2020). Bending the curve: the restorative power of planet-based diets