Ethical Dilemma
Ethical Dilemma

Ethical Dilemma

Today has been crazy with the work – although I did manage to take some time to have lunch with the Ambitious One. She is running the Healdsburg Half this weekend, and juggling the craziest work hours ever, possibly excepting my good friend & running buddy [back in the day] Kim.

So – my dilemma.

I am doing my damndest to eat locally & organically whenever possible. I am working really hard at buying seasonal produce & planning my menus around what’s available. Sometimes that’s really easy. Last weekend at the market, there were apples from Washington & apples from New Zealand. I chose the Washington apples (also picked up a couple bags of apples from some stand in Parkdale).

I am a huge veggie fan. About the only vegetable I don’t like is the radish – everything else is delicious. And, since I live in a great area with almost year-round produce, that part is easy.

The hard part? Fruit. I like apples….kind of. I enjoy them in sauce, and butter, and cake, and pie, and cut & stewed with raisins & mixed into oatmeal, or peeled & slathered with peanut butter. I do not like to pick up an apple and eat it. 

The fruit I do like to eat the most? Bananas. Which do not grow in the Pacific NW. I haven’t bought bananas at the market in months. I don’t want to support unethical farming practices and make my poor fruit travel 1,000 miles. But I love bananas. Just plain old bananas. (Also banana smoothies. yum.)

Lately I have been stopping for a banana & diet coke at the coffee stand in the mornings on my way to work. Ignoring the Diet Coke issue (that’s a whole ‘nother post right there), what’s your opinion on my banana consumption. Should I just let that be my ‘cheat’ item and go ahead & start buying (organic, fairly-harvested) bananas again? Or should I just suck it up & look for more local fruit options?

Should I stop reading Michael Pollan? 

(Do California avocadoes count as local food?)


  1. I say bannanas are ok. And avacado’s contain a good fat, so they are ok too as a locally produced food. the only fruits local to portland you would be left with are seasonal berries which can only go so far.

    As you know, I am an organic gardening junkie, so the best thing to do is track how far your food travels in feet, not miles. as in from the backyard to the kitchen! Look for what you can grow at home, and buy those fruits. I think pomegranates will grow in your zone, for instance. I’ll be glad to help with that search if you wish.

    1. Portland has LOTS of seasonal fruits! 😛 Apples, pears, berries (as you mentioned), plums, cherries, apricots, peaches! Just not my precious bananas.

      I have a large organic veggie garden (or at least I will next year – this year it was mostly a tomato garden), and my eventual goal is to grow most of my own produce.

      The problem with fruit, for me, is that I don’t currently have any fruit trees on my property, and although next year I will have rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries (they just grow wild) and maybe raspberries, the tree fruits take longer to produce.

      And honestly – the ‘travel in feet not miles’ is my biggest problem with bananas – I didn’t get them from the local farmer’s market or my garden….and avocadoes are nearly as bad.

      Thank you for your reply!

  2. I think as long as you’re making an effort to eat local when it’s available then you shouldn’t worry about bananas. If you can’t get something locally, don’t deprive yourself. But if you can buy fresh rather than imported that is always great!

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