Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Learning from your mistakes

I eat a lot of lettuce: rocket, little gem, lamb's lettuce, butterhead, Romaine/cos, Chinese cabbage, Webb's Wonder, salad bowl, even the universally chomped but sneered at iceberg. And though there's a polytunnel in the veg garden, I've not yet attempted to grow lettuces in it over the winter. So, in the not so productive months, when I can't resist a crunch of fresh green, I have been known to bite my lip about the food miles and buy imported salad.
But I should know better than to buy it from Spain. I can't remember when over the last few years a well-washed Spanish lettuce hasn't given me gut-churning spasms and worse. But very occasionally I forget to look at the label, or I think I'll just be extra careful with the washing. But no. Whatever it is they do to their exported salad delivers a swift and painful dose of food poisoning.
I've never found a slug in an imported lettuce; if I had, I could at least be reassured that it hadn't been blasted with a chemical cocktail containing bleach and who knows what else. And I could enjoy the extra protein for free.
Apart from exotic fruit such as mangoes, bananas and pineapple that don't grow in the UK, I am going to swear off imported foodstuffs, even if it's being sold in the local market. I know that seasonal is how it should be; that's how I eat 90% of the time, so I'm just going to have to swap my lettuce for leeks and parsnips, which are still there for the pulling in the veg patch. Complete with slug.


Lindsay said...

Agree with you about shop bought lettuce - urghh. We hope to harvest lettuce earlier this year. Our greenhouse was not erected until late April last year and we lost out on early sewings in 2008.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I've worked all over the world and to this day, Spain is the only place I know that has given me and colleagues hot to trot days where your stomach has gurgled, ached, and your backside is in overdrive. There is definitely some parasite in the water there that is evil on the old system. One guy kept bragging that he didn't drink the water but when we saw him with ice in his drink we almost heaved! He lost a stone in weight and ate about a pound of anti poop tablets just trying to stop himself sitting in the loo for 12 hours a day. Yup, stick to good old root veggies in soup - you'll feel much healthier for it!

Eurodog said...

Difficult if you are a city slicker. Plenty of markets but where do the fruit and vegetables come from?
Israël maybe? I am certainly not eating Israëli goods!

Winchester whisperer said...

The Salad Offensive may be cheaper than sending over the Armada