Saving miles

Despite membership within the movements of food—ecological, sustainable, local, and what eat you—where my contributions to date boils down to the foods I think, the foods I procure, prepare, and eat, the writing, discoursing, and work I’ve done, and the work I look forward to doing (fingers and toes are crossed for a particular Doing in the very near future, shh..),—all within one end of the ‘agricultural act’ bargain—there remain some obvious chinks in my eco-armor. But, the purpose of Daily Prandium is to work these all out, among other vision, mission, objectives, and goals..

One of the food contradictions I partake of fairly regularly is eating kiwi fruit. You know, kiwi, the fuzzy brown on the outside, tart, toothy, seedy, and green on the inside fruit, harking from way down under in New Zealand. For each of these lovelies, which as a fruitarian-leaning type can eat through a few or four a day, blows away the 1500 miles from dirt to doo, the going average most of the foods we consume travel. There’s somewhere around 9,500 to 10,000 miles between Gotham and the kiwi’s homeland. That’s a lot of footprints. Can I get a foot massage with that..

But now there’s a new kiwi in town. For two weeks my dearest Fairway has been selling kiwi—from Italy. These kiwi fruit are produced and marketed by a kiwi cooperative, Friulkiwi in Rauscedo, Italy. Tap that five times fast, ‘Frielkiwi, friulkiwi, fruillikiwi, frulikiwi, frukilwi.’ In all seriousness, a savings of about 5,500 to 6,000 food miles (quick and dirty calculations using land miles between NY and Italy and between NY and New Zealand, with a layover in LA) does not hurt a thing. Heck, aren’t movements all about the ‘small steps’, or so I’ve been told and told again.

So far I’m working through my second bakers dozen of this new kiwi. At first I was skeptical, synaestheting some other non-New Zealand varieties that were just plumb awful. But they taste like, well, kiwi. They’re not bad. Indeed I’m enjoying them, as evidenced by rate of consumption for the last two weeks. Though, they’re a bit more tart, and for this week poses a minor conflict to the still healing second degree burns along my jawline. But I think this Fruilkiwi kiwi could give New Zealand a run for their kiwis. And I’m thrilled again with Fairway in this effort to offer more ‘local’ products. Again, I’m thinking in terms of small steps, as well as protecting a kiwi habit dating back to those first kiwis that hit the Upstate markets sometime in the 080s. Yes, I do remember my first kiwi, as well as my first starfruit, first passion fruit,.. One story did not make it into my essay for grad school—thank dogness for blogs.

So, in the spirit of thinking and fine tuning my prandium, there is a question I pose to the folks at Fruilkiwi.. Are these kiwi genetically modified? Their website says, “The professionality of the associated producers is continually updated by an expert technician who brings to the producers all the innovations and developments necessary for improving their cultivation technique, while placing primary importance to quality control.” So, operative phrases here are, ‘expert technician’ and ‘innovations and developments necessary’. A bit ambiguous, no? I’ve e-mailed Friulkiwi to inquire about this, as well as about their agricultural practices in terms of fertilizer and insecticide use. When I hear back from them, I will be sure to update you here. So come back now, y’all hear.

Buon appetito..


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