Leaving the country that you know and love has its downsides: missing family and friends, language difficulties, cultural differences, and infrequent access to new episodes of 30 Rock. Of course, it also has it’s positives: making new friends, travel, adventure and an invaluable learning experience.
For me this learning experience manifested itself in a way I would have never expected–in food. Food here is more expensive, but that’s not always a bad thing. Prepared foods and meats tend to be more expensive whereas produce is more accessible. I buy less and shop more often. The result is fresher ingredients (and more fruit/veggies) and less waste.
But one of the most inspirational places for this new learning experience has been our twice-a-week farmer’s market. In a town where sometimes 25-30% of the traffic is due to tractors, the term “farmer’s market” takes on a new meaning. I won’t go all Michael Pollan here, but this market and the new experience abroad has rekindled a love not only of cooking, but of deconstructing all the foods that I know and love. Pumpkin pie that comes from a pumpkin and not a can…what a novelty!
I’m not saying that a more limited selection to foods you love plus an expensive price tag is the answer to our nutritional woes, but our life here does make me think that it might not be far off.