The answer is because if we are buying strawberries at DePiero’s Farm in Montvale and they are grown here, we are eating produce that has been picked at its prime and put into a container. It’s as simple as that. We are avoiding the hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles most produce travels before landing in our shopping cart.
We often don’t think about it when we are putting peppers from Mexico and kiwi from Argentina in our carts - - but the truth of the matter is that when produce travels this long of a distance, the nutrients are pretty much gone.
The process of how produce from other countries gets to us entails quite a few steps. Once it is picked, it might sit in the sun for days before trucks pick it up and then it travels on trucks or planes – which we hope are clean- for a couple days or more before it lands in the loading dock of our supermarkets and is unpacked.
The whole point of eating fruit and veggies is to feed our bodies with rich vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to boost our immune system and prevent disease, so it remains frustrating that most of the produce available to us has traveled a far way from home.
I recently took advantage of the soon to be ending tomato and eggplant season by buying a lot of each at DePiero’s Farm. The farm did carry produce that was from other parts of the world, but I just stuck to what was grown in Montvale.
I decided to use both fresh ingredients to make a healthier version of eggplant parmesan, which was delicious!
Recipe for 2 – with leftovers for the next night:
1.) Slice 2 eggplants thin and roast in the oven at 425 degrees on baking sheets until softened.
2.) Put tomato sauce on bottom of casserole and layer softened eggplant on top, with sauce in between the layers and on top.
3.) Slice 2 tomatoes and place them on the top layer of the eggplant.
4.) Season the casserole with black pepper and oregano.
5.) Place pieces of fresh basil and a handful of parmesan cheese on the top.
6.) Bake at 350 degrees until crispy.