Q and A: Should we eat vegetables from parched California?

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Q. Marion, have you seen the NY Times article? It is about how what we eat is contributing to the CA drought. Leaves me confused. If we don’t eat these foods, the farmers will go out of business and that state will suffer. Also, it is mostly fruits, nuts and veggies mentioned. Any thoughts??? –Julie Kumar

A. The story, in case you missed it, is summarized by its headline: “The average American consumes more than 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food that was produced there.”

California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state.

The Times also says:

Americans consume the most water by eating meat and dairy products, primarily because a lot of water is needed to grow the crops to feed the animals. Not all of this water comes from California; about half is imported in the form of crops, like corn, from the Midwest.

What to say about this?

California has a good climate for growing vegetables year-round. What it does not have is rain. Even in non-drought years, the rainy season is short. California gets virtually no rain in summers when the vegetable-growing Central Valley is at its hottest.

Nevertheless, the powers that be decided long ago that money was to be made diverting water from the Sierras to promote the growth of cities (see, for example, Chinatown and any number of documentary films)—and to irrigate California farmland.

The current drought brings the greed and lack of foresight in these decisions to public attention. California farmers have now agreed to cuts in their water allotments, but that still leaves proponents of sustainable agriculture with the dilemma described by Julie’s question:

Does it make ethical or moral sense to boycott California vegetables, nuts, and fruits as a means to encourage producers to move their businesses to wetter locations?

In the long term, it might. I keep thinking of Iowa, which used to be the major producer of specialty crops, but which now produces corn and soybeans under industrial conditions that are ruining municipal water supplies with nitrates from their runoffs.

We need to develop agricultural policies that promote sustainable production methods and take water use, climate change, and other such matters into serious consideration.

In the meantime, you are on your own to figure out your personal method for helping California with its water problems and for encouraging such policies as quickly as possible.

California’s water problems, by the way, are anything but new. It’s worth digging up the 1949 study by Carey McWilliams, who edited The Nation for 20 years. His book, no surprise, focuses on the politics.

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Or if you prefer a more historical approach, there’s this one from University of California Press in 2001.

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Where I live, it’s suddenly summer and time for putting in tomatoes.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.foodpolitics.com/2015/05/q-and-a-should-we-eat-vegetables-from-parched-california/

Paleo Coconut Flour Pancakes

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These are the best coconut flour pancakes you’ll ever make! They’re made with just 4 main ingredients and a little coconut oil making them grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar free! Have I ever told you how much I LOVE recipe creation day in the Fit Foodie Kitchen? Now that I have Linley on Team Fit…

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The post Paleo Coconut Flour Pancakes appeared first on Fit Foodie Finds.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://fitfoodiefinds.com/2015/05/paleo-coconut-flour-pancakes/

Curried Vegetable Polenta Kabobs

Curried Vegetable Polenta Kabobs | @naturallyella

| Disclosure: This recipe was created for Ancient Harvest. See below for more details. |

Curried Vegetables | http://naturallyella.com

Cubed Polenta | http://naturallyella.com

Curried Vegetable Polenta Kabobs | @naturallyella

If you follow along, you know that I have a slight obsession with grilled vegetable skewers, especially when they contain halloumi. Whenever we have cookouts, I almost always turn to skewers (it’s also an easy way to have vegetarian and meat options without making two separate meals). There’s just something about a big plate full of grilled vegetables that makes it feel more like summer. And on the plus side- using skewers helps keep all those vegetables from falling through the grate (let’s not talk about how many slices of onions I’ve lost to the grill over the years).

Nevertheless, I understand that not everyone is as obsessed with halloumi as I may be or you might be looking for a great vegan grilling recipe for those summer cookouts. Enter my go-to: polenta kabobs. One of the great things about polenta is that once cooled after making, it’s easily sliceable and perfect for frying, roasting, and grilling. While I would typically make my own polenta, pre-made polenta from the store is not only quick but creates less hassle and dirty dishes (plus I think I’m incapable of making homemade polenta without adding a hefty amount of cheese and butter at the end- which negates the vegan point). For these skewers I used Ancient Harvest’s traditional polenta which is gluten-free and vegan. Combined with the mixture of curry vegetable-these skewers are sure to be a hit at your next cookout. And if you want to make it a full meal- whip up some grains and serve with a side of yogurt mixed with a bit of cilantro and limes.
See the Recipes.

The post Curried Vegetable Polenta Kabobs appeared first on Naturally Ella.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://naturallyella.com/2015/05/23/curried-vegetable-polenta-kabobs/